Hundreds of you sausage-loving Londoners voted on more than 21 sausages from local producers at farmers’ markets across the capital. A shortlist of five varieties were then put to our expert tasting panel made up of food critic Charles Campion, St John’s Fergus Henderson, Manson chef Alan Stewart, and ‘girl butcher’ Charlotte Harbottle (who graced the cover of issue 34 of the Eel).
The competition showcased the quality and diversity of sausages available at London’s farmers markets as well as highlighting the importance of supporting pig farmers and the benefits of using the whole animal. As our editor, Ben Reynolds, said: ‘the sausage is a great way of making sure that the less well loved cuts of meat don’t go to waste and that farmers make money from all the carcass.’
After some serious tasting and meaty deliberation, we are delighted to announce that the Cumberland Sausage from Rockwell End Pigs’ emerged victorious. On sale at the Marylebone Farmer’s Market, the sausage was chosen for its taste and consistency with some customers claiming, ‘It takes me back to my childhood…The best sausages I have ever had.’
Matt Emmett of Rockwell End was thrilled to win. His family have been farming in Hambleden near Henley since 1936. His father David stopped keeping pigs in 1998, with the last of them famously appearing in an episode of Midsommer Murders! But in 2009, despite the difficulties facing many pig farmers, Matt decided to bring in rare breed herds of free range Saddlebacks and Tamworths. His tasty Cumberlands use any cuts of pork which are not used for joints: some shoulder, belly and loin, but as Matt says, ‘definitely no bone, gristle or rubbish!’
The Rockwell End Cumberland was closely followed by the highly commended Breakfast Marmalade sausage from Downland Pigs’ in Wiltshire. David Wilkinson explained that the sausages are all made by hand, using only meat from the shoulder and carry a maximum of 10% fat. The innovative flavour won over our tasting panel, but the bangers are already famous in the South West after winning the ‘best overall sausage’ at Taste of the West.
Many thanks to everyone who voted and for supporting your local producers! We’re now running a competition to find the best vegetarian restaurant in London. Cast your votes here before 27 May.
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