These bangers were on an incredible “less than half price” offer at Tesco, so I bought them and decided to carry out a little research into the subject of Cumberland sausages. Blaring out on the ether was the news that Cumberland sausages have been awarded Protected Geographical Indication status (CUMBERLAND ), and must therefore be produced inside Cumbria. Riverway Foods are based in Harlow. I emailed them to ask if they had a factory in the north-west, but haven’t received a reply....
According to the GPI status, a Cumberland sausage must contain 80% meat. These don’t.
Cumberland sausages are made with more pepper and a lot less herbs. The ingredients list for Riverway does list pepper, but also more herbs.
Cumberland sausages contain pork that is chopped, not minced. A quick look at the sliced pictures of Riverway’s attempt will tell you all you need to know.
So how do Riverway get away with such blatant disregard for EU law? Well, any product labelled as “Traditional Cumberland Sausage” must be made in Cumbria, contain at least 80% meat, and sold in a coil. Riverway sidestep the law by calling their – frankly awful – version “Cumberland Sausage, Traditionally Made”. It’s absolutely disgraceful that big conglomerates can continue taking the mickey out of proper, artisan sausage makers with a simple re-arrangement of words on the label.
68% they say, so you kind of have to believe them. These bangers don’t taste meaty, they taste filler-y. I’ve now tried quite a lot of hand-made sausages with a meat content around 68%, and these are not similar.
Theses sausages are as Cumberland as Barbara Windsor. These are an average tasting, mass-produced tube of vaguely pork-flavoured....stuff. Very disappointing. Maybe Tesco over-ordered without their tasters even trying them, hence the cheap price?
Nothing to write home about, this sausage is finely minced and did not impress. The casings are acceptable, the filling less so. Just my opinion of course. Not unpleasant, but not enjoyable either, in the slightest.
Average weight uncooked - 57g
Average weight cooked - 45g
Shrinkage - 21%
Uniquely in RMS’ experience, the packaging tells the consumer how much they can expect their sausages to shrink. This is a very good thing, well done! They state “2 sausages weigh 114g raw and 97g grilled”. We agree with the raw figure, but they’re – we’ll say “ambitious” – on the cooked stat. Maybe they retain more weight if grilled?
£2.00 for twelve sausages, weighing 685g - this works out as a price of £2.92 per kg, or 17p per snorker. The pre-discount cost is shown as £4.39 (£6.41 per kg, 37p each), amazing! Frankly, £2.00 is too much for these low quality sausages, so how on earth they got away with charging full price I don’t know. Avoid, at any cost.