Monday, 30 March 2015

Monday Sausage News - Granny Finds Metal Screw In MacDonalds Sausage MacMuffin

If you go down to the shops today beware of a possible big surprise....

....and run your sausage and egg MacMuffin through a metal detector before you start eating it. That's the message that comes out of the horrific experience of Ms Donna Savigar, who certainly wasn't "Lovin' it" when she found something unexpected in her breakfast bun in MacDonalds, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Check out the original Inquisitr report here:

So will you be having breakfast at MacDonalds this week? Screw that!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Papworths - Creake Abbey Farmers Market - Johnson Flyer Sausage

On 7 March this year I took a trip to Creake Abbey Farmers Market and came home with a splendid haul of new sausages to try out. We ran a poll to let you, our beloved readers, decide which sausage we should fry first, and the winning butcher was Papworth's. I chose their unusually named (more on that later) "Norfolk Flyer" sausage to review first, dug out the RMS pans and here we are. Our first new review since July 2013. Not a lot has changed, we'll still be frying not grilling, but instead of olive oil we've changed to rapeseed oil from the most excellent Yare Valley Oils.

It's nice to be back, and we hope you enjoy reading about our often ill-informed and irreverent adventures with sausages....

Where To Find Them:
As already described I found these sausages at Creake Abbey Farmers Market, but this is definitely not the only place that you can buy them. Papworths also have bricks and mortar shops in Market Place, Swaffham (postcode is PE37 7QH for your SatNav), Miller's Walk, Fakenham (NR21 9AP) and Station Road, Sheringham (NR26 8RG).

Have a peek at the photo of the stall. On the right is Sam Papworth himself, with an enthusiastic Stan on the left. If you're new to Rate My Sausage you may wonder what the heck I'm on about with the Stan stuff? Well for years I called a local butcher Stan, before he eventually told me that his name was "Terry. It's bloody Terry. TERRY!" Since then we have used Stan as the collective noun for all the staff diligently beavering away behind the counter. The more Stans on view the better we like it.

Subtle-y peppery, discreet seasoning but done well. This is an old recipe with no modern frills, and has been tried and tested over many years. Do not add any of your own salt or pepper as I think you'd overdo it and spoil the taste. If this is how bangers tasted during the second world war then it's no wonder that Adolf got a butt-kicking.

The filling is chopped to a medium coarseness, which works well. But how juicy and succulent when you slice one open and press the meat with the flat of your fork. The goodness simply oozes out. The skins are natural and keep these sausages supremely moist through the cooking process.

Vital Statistics:
Average Weight Uncooked = 81 grams - big and bouncy!
Average Weight Cooked = 70 grams
Meat Content = 80%

These sausages look big and that's because they ARE big. Solid chunky lumps of porky pleasure - don't cook too many because you won't manage to eat them all. Alternatively cook LOTS and put some back in the fridge for the next day. Picture two burly lumberjacks using a two-handed saw to carve their way back and forth through a recently felled giant redwood. The Johnson Flyers are the sausagey equivalent of that tree. Really.

Value For Money:
£2.33 for 4 sausages weighing 323 grams. This works out as £7.20 per kg and 58p per banger.

We rate this as very good value for money. Try some soon!

The "Aah, Bisto" Factor:
Delicious sausagey wafts had me clock-watching while the Johnson Flyers were in the pan. Lovely.

Why "Norfolk Flyer"?
A good question, thanks for asking. The sausage was launched to coincide with the 2013 Movember LINK campaign. I'll let Sam's own description do the rest:

The Johnson Flyer – Our Movember Sausage.
Friday 1st November sees the start of Movember, and in our case the launch of a new sausage to go with it.
Richard and Alex are going to grow their Mo's in memory of shop manager John's late father Johnnie Johnson D.F.C.
Johnnie flew over 40 missions to Germany during WWII in a Lancaster bomber.
The butchers will grow their Mo's , and at the end of Movember Johno has agreed to join them in shaving his Mo off! It will be the first time he has gone without for over 45 years.
John knows all too well the importance of good Radiography, as his wife Liz is recovering from cancer, and regularly has to visit hospital in Norwich and London.
With all this in mind we have named the banger "The Johnson Flyer".
It is a robustly flavoured Pork Sausage with black pepper and sage as its’ primary flavours, with hints of nutmeg and coriander in there too.
It is a sausage John can remember making years ago, and was always popular with his customers. With the help of our ingredients company D.F Dickens we have re-created the flavours. Made with our own local Pork we are sure you will enjoy.

And Finally, Esther:
A really good sausage to have chosen for our return, complete with a fascinating and heart-warming back story. Recommended!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

King's Lynn's Best Cafe Sausage 2015 - Part 2 of 10 - Archers Cafe

We're boldly searching the cafeterias of King's Lynn in an echo of our 2011 expedition. This is the second instalment of 2015 - we'll be making one visit each month throughout the year - and this time we raided Archers Cafe in Purfleet Street. Yes, you DO know where that is, down the road alongside Boots towards the Custom House. Next door to the Lynn News.

Online reviews of Archers recently are uniformly upbeat, so we were looking forward to this one, especially a certain favourite food item which we found out was home-made on the premises....

Sausage: 4.0 Very, very good. We were expecting some quality here and while we were waiting to be served the cafe's meat supplier pulled up in their van, right in front of us - it was only ruddy Prior's of West Lynn! Result! The Stan from Prior's came and went and our expectation levels were raised. We weren't disappointed, the banger was a beauty, the pork tasted high provenance and sweet, the seasoning was there but not over done, and the skin snapped apart delightfully. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better banger in a cafe. Great job Archers.

Rest Of Meal: 4.25 The food was tremendous. We ordered the Full English breakfast which included 2 bacon, 2 local sausages, 2 home-made hash browns, toast, beans, tomato, mushrooms, and 2 fried eggs. Tea was free if you spent £5.00 or more on your meal, before eleven o'clock; Junior Sidekick went for hot chocolate. Every item that was on our plates was cooked perfectly, and looked very appetising. Bacon was thick and sweet, every mushroom was perfectly juicy and Junior Sidekick even praised the beans. The teapot that arrived was huge and I thought I'd stumbled into never-ending char heaven - it was "only" half-full though (not a criticism). A superb quality meal, cooked beautifully.

Unfortunately there was a problem. The people on the next table were told "Sorry we have no hash browns today, our manager didn't order them." Say what? The hash browns are listed as home-made, why would you have to order them? That suggests that they are Not home-made at all. We make hash browns at home for our breakfasts and it's easy, so if Archers had run out they could simply have popped to the fruit and veg stall just around the 
corner and bought some potatoes. Not good dudes! We didn't get any hash browns....

Service & Cleanliness: 4.0 Busy restaurant = good food, so they say. And wow, Archers was busy busy busy! A promising portent. We had to park ourselves and wait for a table, which we didn't mind in the slightest. Once seated we waited a further fifteen minutes for the hard-pressed staff to take our order - again we didn't mind. Service was friendly, if a little rushed, but that's understandable in such a popular venue. Maybe one extra server would have solved this? This is a very clean, quirky, homely place to eat, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Price: Our meals averaged £9.25, exceeding the Little Chef Olympic Breakfast Threshold (LCOBT). This means that the score for Price is zero.

And, unfortunately there was a problem. We assumed that due to the lack of hash browns a small part of the bill would be chalked off, but not so. Also the free tea, as it was before eleven o'clock, was not free. Small quibbles maybe, but quibbles that definitely took the attention away from the magnificent food.

If anyone at Archers would like to put their case forward please email us -

Scores On The Doors (after 2 rounds):

P1 Pedlars Hall Cafe 13.19 
P2 Archers Cafe 12.25

Scoring & Rules:
Points will be awarded in four categories; Sausage, Service & Cleanliness, Rest Of Meal and Price. The first three will be scored secretly out of 5 by the two of us and the scores averaged. For Price we are again using the Little Chef Olympic Breakfast (£7.99) as the benchmark, subtracting each cafe's price from this, and the resultant figure is their score (minimum score is zero). Simples!

Next target: 
That would be telling! But if you run a King's Lynn cafe, and find a tip of £1.23, we've already come and gone....

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday Sausage News - Sausage Rap Sweeps The Globe

Who'd have guessed that after going on about guns, drugs and "bitches" for years and years rappers in America have now taken up the humble sausage as their latest subject matter.

Before reading the original article please note that most of the sausage raps included contain offensive lyrics!

If you're a convert to sausage rap, find more of them on Twitter, using #SausageMovement

Saturday, 14 March 2015

King's Lynn's Best Cafe Sausage 2015 - Part 1 of 10 - Pedlar's Hall Cafe

Way back in 2011 we visited four cafeterias in King's Lynn aiming to find out which of them (if any) served up half-decent sausages with their breakfasts. The answer was disappointing, and even the best of the four bangers we tried would not score very highly if we had reviewed it properly. But the testing process was a lot of fun and our convoluted points system caused much confusion - just the way we'd planned it.

Fast forward four years and we're doing the whole thing again, but bigger, better and more difficult to understand. We'll be visiting ten cafes instead of four, and the raiding party will double in size with Junior Sidekick joining yours truly. And instead of the cheapest breakfast that includes a sausage we're upgrading to the second cheapest. The amended rules can be found at the bottom of this review. One innovation this time round is our calling card - we'll be leaving a trademark tip of £1.23 at each eaterie, just to let them know that we've been....we're calling it the Mark Of Zorro Money. I wonder if any of them will notice?

Our first target was the winner of the 2011 competition - Pedlars Hall Cafe which is located right next to the bus station in beautiful downtown King's Lynn. We opted for Breakfast 2 which offers 6 items from - bacon, sausage, hash brown, egg, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, toast and tea OR coffee. JS opted for a milkshake which was added to the overall bill.

Service & Cleanliness: 3.0   Pedlars Hall is the preferred cafe for bus drivers and passengers alike, and is a very traditional establishment. Bolted down tables, unmatched cutlery, very few stains, great! The lady serving behind the counter was very friendly and brought our food quite quickly. If visiting with children be aware this is a working man's haunt and there may be occasional fruity language.

Sausage: 3.5  Last time we visited we said "The sausage was not as bad as expected, and although it was finely chopped it crumbled quite nicely when cut.  Rather over seasoned though." Has that changed at all? The simple answer is yes, this time round we were presented with sausages that all looked different to each other, crumbled apart quite well when pushed, and tasted....pretty good. Flavour was akin to a Lincolnshire, albeit a factory version. A real improvement in the sausage department for Pedlars Hall, hence the decent score.

Rest Of Meal: 3.25   The two photos show our choices of items. The quality was reasonable and not badly presented. The beans come as a virtual lake which is a bonus, although the bacon was fairly small and a little on the salty side. Altogether a decent £4-worth.

Price: Our meals averaged £4.55, which means that the price score for Pedlars Hall Cafe is 3.44.

Scores On The Doors (after 1 round):

P1 - Pedlars Hall Cafe 13.19 - the reigning champions are in the lead!

Scoring & Rules:

Points will be awarded in four categories; Sausage, Service & Cleanliness, Rest Of Meal and Price. The first three will be scored secretly out of 5 by the two of us and the scores averaged. For Price we are again using the Little Chef Olympic Breakfast (£7.99) as the benchmark, subtracting each cafe's price from this, and the resultant figure is their score (minimum score is zero). Simples!