Friday, September 30, 2005

A sizzling tale of sausages

Martin Wainwright has another great piece in today's Guardian, on the revival of the great British sausage - in particular, those produced by Yorkshire's Cranswick Country Foods (aka the former East Riding Quality Bacon Producers' Association). It's a sizzling tale of market demand, entrepreneurialism, academic/industrial research partnerships, pig improvement, Lupercalian orgies and, of course, top class bangers.

A survey this month by the City analysts Mintel showed that premium bangers full of real meat and fresh herbs are being made in Britain at a rate unprecedented for decades. Sales are up by almost a quarter since 2000, and organics have tripled. "Manufacturers are reinventing sausages as posh nosh," said Mintel's David Bird.
There are vast, impersonal forces at play here: more money in consumers' purses, greater health awareness, the regulatory effect of the European Union. But levers have also been pulled by astute individuals. The British sausage revolution really took off on a spring morning in 1995 when two Yorkshiremen spotted a shop called Simply Sausages on London's Farringdon Road.
Within hours, they had negotiated a joint venture with the shop's owner, Martin Heap. He was a former restaurateur with a genius for inventing speciality sausages; they were Bernard Hoggarth and Martin Davey, managing director and chairman of the Yorkshire company Cranswick Country Foods.



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