Now then brethren, before we begin on this culinary eisteddfod! I suppose I'd better explain a little bit about why I'm doing this at all, Basically you see, I was approached by a man, I know, Who'd have thought? From a Website called " Rate My Sausage " The World's Second Best Sausage Website, hello I thought, I know times have been hard for the catering industry over the past 12 months, But I didn't think I was going to to stoop quite as low as this, after all I had seen an episode of Naked Attraction, and I wasn't convinced that my numbers would quite stack up! If you get my drift?!!
But, apparently I'd got my wires crossed and this was legitimate, and, was in fact a Website for rating sausages!! Some People have far too much time on their hands!
I was informed that sausages would be dispatched to me, and my job was pure and simply, to cook, taste, critique, write and get the hell out!!
Would I except the role???
Well I thought if I ermmmed and arrrrred long enough that someone might mention MONEY!! The lips were tightly pursed my fine people, as was his wallet, But as I'd hardly been able to afford to buy sausages for the last 12 months, because someone had eaten something, that was probably alive at the time, that they shouldn't have, in a country I'm never likely to visit, and I'd been forced into some kind of seclusion because of it, I excepted.
So, the day arrived, my package arrived by courier, I eagerly opened the package, thinking that , even in a worse case scenario, how bad could it be, at least I'd get to eat!!
I was wrong, It could and did get worse, I should have known really, because for 4 days prior to this, the sun had been shining, the birds were tweeting, life was good, However, today, the heavens had opened, there was a force 9 gale blowing and I'd been sent sausages that contained MARMITE!!
Now, It was my considered opinion, that Marmite was and is the work of the devil, It most certainly is on my list of the worst things I've ever had in my mouth, definitely compares to the cold whelk I had had in a restaurant in Manchester years ago, which, I'm convinced I'd still be chewing now if I hadn't spat it out into flower vase on the table!!
So how in gods name was I going to get out of this?
I could deny that they had arrived, but Dave the courier man had handed them over, so he was a witness
I could hire a space capsule and fire them straight at the surface of the sun, after all, charcoal makes everything taste better right??!!
I could fake my own death, but that would mean living up in the attic for the rest of my life, and the WiFi in Cumbria is abysmal at the best of times.
But I'd noticed on the packaging this!!!
The Crest, By Appointment to Her Maj
I know, I thought, I've met HRH Prince Charles, I'll pull a few strings, after all, I'd packed him off with Scotch Eggs, Dundee Cake and a Thank You For Visiting Cumbria Mug, He owed me one right??!!!!
But after it was pointed out to me that I was just ever so slightly going over the top!!!
I went in
And this is what I genuinely thought
Firstly, let's be frank, anyone who has held a Royal Warrant since 1907, Probably isn't going to be using the sweepings from the floor in their sausage making factory, So on opening the pack, they look great, firm, meaty, and more surprisingly actually smell good,
Secondly, what's in them? we want a good meat content, 70% pork, British Pork, Well, I wouldn't have expected anything else, It doesn't say if the pork is outside reared, the packaging states prime pork, animal welfare is a must, ok, I'm happy with that , anything less and I'd have been asking questions, there's some spices, marmite obviously, vegetable juice concentrate, all the information you would expect, but without giving anything away, I guess I understand that, You don't want to give to much away to competitors, Natural casings used, which I'm a big fan of , rather than the synthetic rubbish.
So far so good, Cooking instructions, I like the fact they have put Wash hands, utensils on the pack, And as the legend that is, Gary Rhodes, once said, The secret is not to prick them!!
I'm not a fan of grilling, nor, shallow frying, and anyone who throws a sausage into a deep fat fryer should slapped until they are purple, believe me when I say people do this! and they know who they are!!!
So I will always vouch for the oven, 195c for 25 minutes, bang on
I must add, that in the time of cooking, the smell was fantastic, almost like a deep soy sauce smell, I was, dare I say, beginning to come around!