The thing about sausages

Food for thought: the Meat and Livestock Commission claims that 39 per cent of the British eat sausages at least once a week. Last year, we ploughed through 300,000 tonnes: 12lb per capita of the population. Make an adjustment for vegetarians, health faddists, BSE-fearers (reports that even sausages labelled "pork" contained a proportion of beef products have caused queasy moments), the religiously inclined, heart patients and dieters, and the true figure is probably around 18lb. Which means that we're each eating around three sausages a week.

This figure seems rather low. If you have ever watched a barbecue, you will have noticed that even the snootiest supermodel can chow six of the things as they bounce from the coals. Bonfire night alone will probably account for a month's worth of sausage consumption. Imagine a vegan bonfire night: "Fancy some Linda McCartney textured vegetable protein before we set fire to the compost heap?".

The thing about sausages is that they're not so much a culinary choice as a way of life. Indeed, if you read the Euro-scare stories that form the backbone of our tabloids, you could well believe that the one thing the British hold dear, apart from the right to work 80-hour weeks if our employers want, is our sausages. Brussels wants our bangers! Beware the Eurocrat! He wants to limit the ratio of breadcrumbs to meat, cut down on hoof, hair and gristle. They'll be having us eating garlic next. Our national culture is at stake. Vote Goldsmith!

A change, though, is creeping through the culture, and it's come in via the increasingly sophisticated palates of shoppers. Where the sausage used to be a simple comfort food, it is now a statement of pretension. This is no bad thing: I still have nightmares about the sausages we were force-fed at primary school. Anyone who's ever choked on a rubber glove filled with sourdough will have a rough idea. Nowadays, the average supermarket basket is almost as likely to contain a six-pack of pork and leek as anything pink and droopy.

A study of chill counters reveals a disturbing preponderance of development department dreams. Waitrose, among the "traditional" varieties, sells Toulouse (pounds 1.49), Pork and Leek (pounds 1749) and Spicy Mediterranean (paprika, pepper and chilli) (pounds 1.79). Safeway plays it safe with Lincolnshires, Cumberlands and Porkinsons. Marks & Spencer, whose genius in inventing bangers with the fried onion incorporated (pounds 1.99) deserves applause, also wins the award for most revolting food idea for 1996: Daffy Duck Sausage Nuggets with crisp-crumb coating (pounds 1.59).

Asda have gone the biggest bundle on the trend. They now offer 23 types, including Tomato, Mesquite, Spanish Caliente, Aberdeen Angus, Toulouse, and Pork and Leek. This week, Toffee Apple - pork with dried apple and a maple syrup glaze (99p) - joined the range. They look weird in the pack. They cause havoc on the grill pan. And, to someone who coped with primary school sausages by adding honey, they taste heavenly. I'm just waiting for chicken and peanut butter.

Sport
tennisLive: Follow all the updates from Melbourne as Murray faces Czech Tomas Berdych in the semi-final
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
musicYou'll have to ask Taylor Swift first
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
people
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - London, £60k

    £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA (SSIS, ETL) - Central London, £60,000...

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

    £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Agent / QA Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an est...

    Recruitment Genius: C# / XAML Developer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity for a talented...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
    World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

    Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

    The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
    Why the league system no longer measures up

    League system no longer measures up

    Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
    Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

    Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

    Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
    Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

    The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

    Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness