In Season – The Great British Banger
by Robert Veitch
‘In Season’ returns for a one-off special. With barbecue season gearing up, let’s make the month of May a time to celebrate sausages!
The word sausage derives from the old Norman French saussiche, which is rooted in the Latin salsus, meaning salted.
The Latin gives the game away; sausages are not a recent creation. More mature readers will recall that it was not so long ago sausages were made with casings from animal intestines, although synthetic casings generally prevail today.
The Great British Banger consists of ground meat (usually pork), with salt and rusk; plus whatever herbs, spices and magic your local butcher chooses to sprinkle into the mixture.
To prick or not to prick the pre-cooked skin remains a personal choice, but if you want a proper banger leave it alone. The sound of popping skin from escaping fat is the bang in the banger.
Hordes of sausage varieties exist: think Glamorgan, Lincolnshire or Cumberland to get things sizzling, then sample Europe with Chorizo, Frankfurter or Kielbasa for continental diversification.
Be it sausage rolls, sauce covered hot dogs, battered with toad in the hole, wrapped like a pig in a blanket, or with a mountain of mash and gravy, sausage is the food that helped make this nation great. There’s nothing quite like bangers spitting and crackling on the barbecue, the smell wafting seductively into the nostrils, teasing all within range, making them drool.
But not to celebrate at all, surely that would be the very ‘wurst’ scenario!