The tour bus travelled 650 miles during the campaign Week (Mon 3rd – Thurs 6th Nov) to meet the regions best butchers at venues in London, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Reading, Peterborough and Bristol. Phil Vickery, rugby legend and the British Sausage Week ambassador joined the British Sausage Week team to help reside over each sausage tasting and award the winning butchers their prestigious Banger Award.
From a whopping 500 entries nationwide each region was whittled down to just the top six butchers, who were then invited to a sausage cook-off. They all looked great, and it soon became apparent when Phil liked a sausage as there was no small tasting bites the whole thing went and any other leftovers too if we weren’t careful! However for all these butchers to get through from the national competition means that their sausages are exceptionally good, so it was always a tough judging call, with at times some tough decisions being made. However only one from each category could win, so the list of regional winners reads as follows:
- Olivers Butchers of Brentwood win with their local named Essex Sausage
- Carnivore Foods of Sidcup win with their Negril Jerk Sausage, made for a local Brixton Restaurant, with the tasty heat coming through after a few sausage bites.
- Fodder the Harrogate showground farm shop, win with their Traditional Pork Sausage
- Knitsley Farm Shop of Consett, win with their Tapas Sausage which even though it was full of flavour did not over power the pork.
- J W Mettrick of Glossop win with their customers favourite Traditional Pork Sausage
- Stanedge Grange Butchery of Buxton win with their Gunpowder, Treason & Plot Sausage full of ‘sparky’ flavours this was a winning ‘banger’.
- Turners of Pelsall in Walsall win with their Free Range Fine Pork Sausage
- Pork and Two Veg from Woolhope with their Pork & Elderflower Sausage – the chef said ‘this is definitely a sausage I would serve in my restaurant’, and Phil just didn’t say anything but ate all his sausage.
- Bowers Butchers as the winner of the traditional pork sausage category with their Norfolk Sausage a 1930’s family recipe
- Perfick Pork of Fakenham were delighted to take the Banger Award for their Mediterranean Sausage which included basil, garlic, mozzarella & sundried tomatoes
- However the Innovative category did see quite a debate over a Voodoo Lollipop Sausage which included black treacle and Cajun spices versus the Mediterranean Sausage . Both different in style and looks but taste wise they both delivered a punch without losing the lovely pork flavour.
- Ambrose Sausages win with their Gilberts Originals Sausage, made using a 100 year old family recipe
- The traditional sausages were all so good, it proved a really difficult task as there were a few differences in opinions between the judges so we had to double taste to make sure
- The Breakfast Sausage with black pudding came out tops from Patrick Strainge Butchers, Bampton
- this category also proved interesting as they were loads of flavours, from black pudding, bacon and leek to a beetroot and horseradish combo and so this meant much discussion was had before the winner was chosen
Last stop of the tour
- The judges were all blown away by a truly traditional breakfast pork sausage which had travelled all the way from Thomas O’Keeffe & Father in Looe.
- The local ‘Brizzle’ sausage from Perry & Son Butchers from Alveston won with their Bristol Blue
- this category saw two chilli based sausages compete against the pork & blueberry sausage, which became the over powering winner in the end
British Sausage Week, now in its incredible 17th year, ran from 3rd-9th November. The annual celebration aims to raise awareness of the great variety, quality and all round tastiness of British sausages that are being produced today. 2014 has been a bumper year for entries with just over 200 butchers entering almost 500 sausages up and down the country.
With over 470 varieties (and counting) of sausages produced in Britain, this means they have fast become a key mealtime ingredient, whether you have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as a basic treat or a gourmet meal, the popularity of sausages has never been stronger; a testament to their ability to provide a great tasting meal for the whole family to enjoy. If you want to know where your sausages are made and don’t buy from a trusted source like a butcher, but want to ensure you are buying quality pork sausages, then look for a logo like the Red Tractor mark which gives you a clear indication of its origin and quality.
To celebrate British Sausage Week, independent butchers and supermarkets ran events and special offers, local pubs and restaurants also offered special sausage themed menus. For those looking to experiment with sausages at home, there is also a new British Sausage Week recipe booklet, Celebrating our love of the Great British Banger, available from participating high street butchers or download from the website.
Visit www.britishsausageweek.com or the Love Pork Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/lovepork.UK for recipes and further information about the week. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LovePork #sausageweek.