Wednesday 3 August 2011

Pickups - Blackburn Market - Pork Sausage

Last of the Blackburn market butchers to be featured is Pickups.  The guys behind the counter maintained a high volume of dry banter, with customers and colleagues alike, and I swear on my sweetmeats that legendary braces-twanger Bobby Ball was one of the staff.  Trust me, I know my tragic eighties unfunny double acts….Thatcher & Reagan anyone?

I digress.  Last week’s bangers made by Frank Littler (remember? The Fella from Mellor) were rather special, so will Pickups uphold the strong reputation of Blackburn Market bangers?

Meat Content:
68% the man on the stall said. He then, for some unknown reason, said “Rock on Tommy” before clenching his fist and gurning unpleasantly.  68% is about right I’d say, but I’m going to tell you that for once the percentage is irrelevant.  I didn’t ask where these pigs are reared, but the pork is simply delectable.  Exceptionally good.  If you read this Pickups, let me know please?

Tangy and tart with a sour tone present.  Does that sound unpleasant?  It’s not meant to.  The pork contained in Pickup’s prime pieces is exceptionally sweet, and when it’s mixed with the seasoning and flavouring here the combination is a winner.  Savoury and sweet flavours go together beautifully in many dishes and cuisines, and Pickups have created a match made in sausagey heaven.  If these sausages had their own Twitter account it would be “At Hashtag Bloody Underscore Gorgeous”

Bitty (therefore good!).  Very juicy and “squeaky” in the mouth, and made in natural casings which add extra quality to a good sausage.  And these are a very, very high-quality product.  The story goes, allegedly (if you ask the right people in the wrong pubs around the town) that when Tugay was playing for Blackburn Rovers and living in the posh Ecky Thump Hotel, he refused the caviar, the truffles, the oysters and anything with “a smear of pea puree” or “a gush of parsnip foam”, and would berate the waiters with the simple order “No posh crap!  Bring me Pickups sausages!”  And you can’t fault the Turkish midfield dynamo’s judgement.

Average weight uncooked - 76g
Average weight cooked - 70g
Shrinkage - 8%
Fabulous stats for Pickups.  As if their sausages didn’t taste bloomin’ great, they also shrink very little indeed.  Top marks.

Value For Money:
£2.44 for six sausages, weighing 454g - this works out as a price of £5.38 per kg, or 41p per snorker.  I can only use another superlative, and report that Pickups Pork Sausages represent unbeatable value for money.
And Finally:
Well, that’s all the Blackburn bangers gone and I’ve got to admit that I’m quite sad to see them go. The overall standard was very high, with a couple of particularly fine examples. They seem to be generally a little longer and thinner than the East Anglian bangers we routinely review, which I always imagine makes them more child-friendly….perhaps they’re made that way for just that reason? I’d love to travel back to Blackburn sometime to visit the new market and see how the butchers are getting on.

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