Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Porkinson Original Banger

These were feisty little cookers. And try saying that after half a pint of absinthe. Cooked and tasted half decent but there was some nagging doubt for me….would a top fashion photographer really start making sausages? Well….maybe, I guess. And if he DID start making sausages, would he go on to mass produce them? I doubt it, but then again, it IS possible.



You can check their website here: Porkinson


But on to the sausages, and they come in an attractive stripey orange box which is completely different to and rather more impressive than the usual “cardboard sleeve around a plastic tray” packaging. The box features the Union Jack prominently, as well as multiple bow-ties, and a rather Poirot-esque handlebar moustache. None of which are bad, and nod towards Britishness and toffdom. I think the packaging embraces the photog Parkinson’s outlook, and that’s nicely individual.


Meat Content:
Porkinson’s worked out at 42p each, which is the third highest price so far. Would they justify that position? Claiming 80% meat I was expecting a hefty banger, as only TheBlackFarmer had boasted a higher Meatification-ness so far. Well, I wasn’t exactly disappointed with these babies, but I wasn’t over-impressed either. They were reminiscent enough of expired pig to rate quite highly for meat content, but they’re not the best we’ve tried. Equally, they were FAR from the worst.


Flavour:
I enjoyed the Porkinson experience. As described, they were pretty meaty, and the actual taste seemed - somehow - to express the "idea" of meat more than some other sausages we’ve tasted, despite maybe having less - clever flavouring? The aroma when you lifted the slice of soss to your mouth was lovely, and again harked back to my childhood memories. So……”quite” tasty with a slight artificiality (as if they’d been made to seem more traditional than they really are). Not a full-on success, but still worth trying.


Texture:
Solid, but fine and uniform. I was pleased that while cooking they morphed from the horrible “square pink tube” that pre-packed bangers can adopt, to resemble something recognisable as sausage and less like mass-produced stuff. The uncooked look was very reminiscent of the previously tested Richmonds - why? These cut up nice and firm, breezed the Six Slice, and felt better in the mouth than they looked on the fork. A good effort.


Shrinkage:
Average weight uncooked - 66g
Average weight cooked - 54g

Shrinkage - 18%
 

Value For Money:
These cost £2.49, weighing in at 398g (397g according to my scales!) - this works out as a price of £6.26 per kg, or 42p per snorker.




Through A Child’s Eyes:
My six-year-old gave these an impressed thumbs up, followed by a comment of “two out of five”. So a mixed verdict. Mind you, he’s not really got the hang of scoring things yet.




Post Script:
Who’d have thought it? I believe that Porkinson’s are, in fact, Richmond’s With More Meat. I checked the respective websites’ Frequently Asked Questions sections.
From the Porkinson’s Site:
.
Do your Porkinson Bangers contain GMO's ?No. Porkinson's recognises that whilst the technology of genetic modification may offer a number of benefits, you may have reservations about the use of such novel scientific techniques. So where possible we have removed all ingredients derived from either soya or maize. But where we have to use these ingredients, we will purchase from suppliers that can prove that the origination of the soya or maize is conventional, i.e. non-GM

From the Richmond’s Site:
Do your products contain GMO's?
No. Richmond recognises that whilst the technology of genetic modfication may offer a number of benefits, you may have reservations about the use of such novel scientific techniques. So where possible we have removed all ingredients derived from either soya or maize. But where we have to use these ingredients, we will purchase from suppliers that can prove that the origination of the soya or maize is conventional, ie. non-GM
.

From the Porkinson’s site:
Can I cook Porkinson Bangers in the oven?
Yes - either refer to instructions on back of pack or follow the guidelines below.
Fresh Sausages
Place sausages on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 180°C, 350°F, Gas mark 4 for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally. For fan assisted ovens, adjust cooking times according to manafacturer's handbook
.

From the Richmond’s site:
Can I cook Richmond sausages in the Oven?
Yes - either refer to instructions on back of pack or follow the guidelines below:Fresh Sausages:Place sausages on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 190°C, 375°F, Gas mark 5 for 20-25 minutes turning occasionally. For fan assisted ovens, adjust cooking times according to manufacturer's handbook
.
 
There are a lot more VERY similar FAQs.
 
Coincidence?

I checked the company details, and found the following:

Richmond’s sausages:
Registered Office
Kerry Foods, Thorpe Lea Manor, Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 8HY

Porkinson’s sausages:
Registered Office
Kerry Foods, Thorpe Lea Manor, Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 8HY
 
 
How terribly disappointing. I wonder why there’s the elaborate charade based around Norman Parkinson, when these sausages are actually “Richmond’s Premium“? In retrospect the square shape when uncooked was exactly the same as the Richmonds. If all this is old news for you as you read this I apologise: I am a little shocked and a little disappointed by this revelation!

12 comments:

Affer said...

Wow! What EXCELLENT detective work! I was awaiting this review with interest. I have been eating Porkinson's for some time - to clarify that: I prefer a proper Butcher's Beast, but if they aren't available then the Porkinson has been my Mass Snorker of Choice. I think I have noticed some decline in standard; when they first arrived, they were (I think) a bit more peppery-seasoned, but always very edible. Now I'm rethinking my opinions! Could they be made in a different way by the same people? I suppose so....

Great blogging!

Sausage King said...

Didn't these guys also refuse to say where their pork comes from recently?

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

Rate My Sausage said...

For any readers, the above comment is Spam. I'll leave it here for a while so you can remove it from your own places, then it'll be deleted.


Spam, but I can't work out what they're selling!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site bangersandsausages.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Patrick Brighton said...

Great blog. I see from my latest which? magazine that Porkinson's are the bottom ranking sausage after Asda according to the consumer's association. Interesting but just a matter of taste I guess.
Pat

Anonymous said...

From the high street supermarkets, PORKINSON'S are the only sausage worth their weight. If cooked properly they are a sensational taste, with more flavour than anything else I have tried. 10/10

The only problem with them, is I can't seem to buy them all year round. This has me in a sausage drought for 3-4 months of the year. When I reluctantly have to settle on other, far inferior brands.

Rate My Sausage said...

Dear Anonymous, or should I say Dear Brand Consultants Comissoned By Porkinsons, you are completely wrong.

Porkinsons sausages, far from be 10/10, and whatever other superlatives you use, are in fact CRAP.

They are from the very same company that produces filth like Richmonds sausages.


Go away and tell Porkinsons where to shove their contract!

Anonymous said...

Are you stll in business. I cannot buy Pokinson bangers anywhere in the Plymouth area. I have tried Tesco Superstore, Tesco Metro, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Watrose & Co-op. Counter staff say they have not heard of Porkinsons. I am now experiencing withdrawal symptons, they are the only sausage that I know of that taste as good hot or cold. Help, SOS etc.before I expire.

Anonymous said...

My family all loved the taste of Porkinsons - it got to the stage where any other sausage was a huge disappointment. We too noticed an ever decreasing availability but persisted sometimes driving 10 miles to a Tesco, after our local Waitrose stopped stocking them. But then the killer blow: in February 2012 they changed their recipe and I am afraid the magic has gone out of the sausage. We eat the new version but with little appetite and have even complained to Kerry Foods but to no avail. We are stuck in sausage limbo land and it is not an hospitable place. Can anyone help?

Simon M said...

It's a bit late to post this now, but Kerry Foods pulled the Porkinson brand a couple of last year, to "concentrate on their core sausage brands" i.e. rubbish like Wall's and Richmond.

Porkinson as a brand have (had) an interesting pedigree (ha), founded by Norman Parkinson in an attempt to refresh the moribund British banger. They were even served on Concorde (so I've read), and were highly regarded.

Just like Walls, Porkinson are a brand of sausage that were a byword for quality that the Kery Foods mega-corp have all but ruined.

Anonymous said...

Porkinsons were made at the same site as Walls and Richmond but they all have their individual recipe their not the same recipe in a differant wrapper where richmond is more mass produced porkinsons were part of the premium range the demand for the walls and richmond is high where porkinsons was not