FHM scours the globe to find the greatest bangers for your buck – and not a Tesco’s ‘Value Pack’ in sight…
9/ Selfridges Traditional Beefsteak
Why? Good beef sausages can be hard to find and are often blended with tomato. These are free of fruit-based intrusions and are arguably the best you’ll find. Packing at least 71% meat, experts say they are best served “in a baguette with salad, fried onions and French’s mustard.”
Get them from: £8.95 per kilo; Selfridges
8/ The Essex Pig Ipswich Blue
Why? Made by Jamie Oliver’s mate Jimmy Doherty (star of BBC2’s imaginatively titled docu-soap Jimmy’s Farm), his little enterprise ?is winning him fans all over the world, not least food writer Fiona Beckett, who describes these cheesy bangers as “terrific”.
Get them from: £9.50 per kilo; Jimmysfarm.com
7/ Lakes Cumberland fused with Black Pudding
Why? This British Sausage Week 2007 National Champion wowed the judges (including, confusingly, chinny cricketer Phil Tufnell) with its “stunning combination of ingredients”. Others in the Lakes range are also top award winners.
Get them from: £6.42 per kilo; lakesspecialityfoods.co.uk
6/ The Neapolitan
Why? The meaty treats at London deli Gazzano are amongst the finest Italian porkers available in the UK. And the ones that fly off the shelves the quickest are these Neapolitans. Says the shop’s Joe Gazzano, “They’re peppery, gluten free and aren’t packed with rusk.” No mail order, but worth the visit.
Get them from: £6.90 per kilo;G Gazzano & Sons; 020 7837 1586
5/ Musk’s Of Newmarket
Why? The man that created the royal House of Windsor, King George V, thought these sausages were good enough to send a train all the way from Balmoral in Scotland to Newmarket in Suffolk to collect them whenever he fancied a pound or two. Today the recipe is true to the one invented by James Musk over 100 years ago and uses fresh, locally baked bread, the leanest pork, a secret blend of spices and natural casings. “Part of my interest in sausages comes from eating Musk’s bangers with my nan when I was a child,” says Stephen Plume, meaty tube expert and creator of award-winning website sausagefans.com. “I still love these today."
Get them from: £7.26 per kilo; ?musks.com. Also stocked in some supermarkets in the South East.
4/ Chinese Pork
Why? Dried, and not dissimilar to chorizo; the fresh ones are arguably even more tasty but aren’t available by mail order, though you may find them in a Chinese supermarket. A sausagey must-try due to their utterly unique taste, these are flavoured with Chinese spices, which makes them extra sweet.
Get them from: £10 per kilo; hoohing.com
3/ ‘Topolski’ Pork and Juniper Berry
Why? This dried little number is made from a traditional recipe using free-range local pigs and juniper berries growing on the Polish farm where it’s made. Nice image, but this peasanty picture doesn’t really explain the whopping price tag – until you taste it.
Get them from: £27.50 per kilo; Selfridges
2/ The Graigfarm Plain Beef and Garlic
Why? Gold medallists in the 2006 Organic Food Awards, these will make you chuckle at the thought of veganism. All-beef sausages can be hard to get hold of, so if you’re looking for some then our tip is to seek out the best, and these are 85% meat beauties infused with garlic.
Get them from: £8.26 a kilo; graigfarm.co.uk
1/ The Clifton Reindeer
Why? Every December, the chef at this upmarket sausage-obsessed eatery gets some Scandinavian chaps to send him slabs of reindeer. They’re then ground up, added to some cranberries and turned into a sausage, which is meaty, gamey and magical. “The kids love eating Rudolph,” hoots the restaurant’s operations manager Simon Quarrie. “The rest of the year, our signature ‘Clifton’ sausage is our most popular: we use a rare-breed pork with local cider and wholegrain mustard and it’s absolutely delicious.”
Get them from: only available seasonally at the Clifton Bar ?And Sausage restaurant in Bristol (cliftonsausage.co.uk).
Bangers and facts
Five tasty snag-related titbits
Sausages were invented 5,000 years ago in what is now modern-day Iraq. They were developed over the centuries as a way of presenting foul-looking bits of left-over animal in a tasty and appealing way.
During WWII, butchers injected water into their sausages to make them look bigger, the downside being the violent explosion of the things when cooked. It’s for this reason that they were nicknamed ‘bangers’, and the practice of pricking them before cooking was introduced to let the water escape.
The world’s biggest sausage is 42ft high and is made of not-very-tasty fibreglass. It was erected in the town of Mundare, Canada, to attract tourists. Fingers crossed the town’s mayor got fired.
Brits eat 300,000 tonnes of sausage per year – which is about 5kgs per person, or a not-very-lardy 100g of sausage per man, per week.
According to sausage studies, most bangers (39%) are eaten not at brekkie, but for tea.