Tuesday 20 March 2012

N Gagen - Wisbech - Pork Sausage

Gagen’s (pronounced gay-jun not gay-gun) of Wisbech is where I went, although they have another shop in the nearby village of Leverington (where they make all the sausages).  Wisbech is a slight misnomer, the shop is in a part of town called Walsoken – find the little parade of shops and businesses and you’re in the right place.

The shop is sparklingly clean and the welcome is friendly – the legend “Home Killed Meats” on the shop sign conjures up images of a rather gory living room scene in the Gagen household, but don’t let that put you off!  I was served by Paul, smartly presented and very helpful.  On hearing of Rate My Sausage’s name he gave me an example of another potentially ambiguous website name – he has a friend who races VW Beetles and who was entering a race called “Big Boys’ Toys”....don’t put that in your search engine without an open mind!  So I offer my thanks to Paul for the reception – let’s find out how good Gagen’s bangers are....

Meat Content:
I forgot to note the figure when I was on the premises so I called them the next day.  The Wisbech Gagen’s said “We can’t help, we don’t make the sausages here – call our Leverington shop”.  Which I did.  The figure quoted was 50% although these have a much meatier presence than that would suggest....maybe it’s another low quote to keep in line with the Food Inspectors?  Lovely and chewy, there is plainly a good amount of good quality pork in these sausages.  Might be a good idea for the Wisbech shop to include the correct figure on their in-cabinet price labelling though, just to stay on the right side of the law?

“Oh yeah!....” was my first reaction.  After a couple of weeks of decidedly below par fare it was a treat to get my gums around a real sausage, worthy of the title.  The flavour isn’t overwhelming or strong, but it is lovely, and comforting, and nice.  The seasoning is spot-on, neither too much or too little, and there’s a hint of something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on.  Tasty little parcels of porky loveliness!

Solid and willing to please!  This is a firm sausage.  When you drag one apart with the knife and fork it falls apart in just the right way, lots of small crumbles, a few thicker clumps, and a sense that these are made by a person and not on a production line in a dismal factory.  So, firm and chunky - having said all that, these sausages are also very juicy indeed (see the pics), so how they manage to make them that way I have no idea.  Good show Gagens!

Average weight uncooked - 58g
Average weight cooked - 46g

Shrinkage - 20%

20% is the best so far in 2012, but it’s not exceptional.  

Value For Money:
£1.41 for four sausages, weighing 230g - this works out as a price of £6.15 per kg, or 35p per snorker.  These are homely bangers that make a fine, comforting meal – very good value for money.  Stick a couple of dozen in the freezer.

The Bisto Factor:
These naughty sausages gave off an absolutely divine bouquet during cooking!  Wonderfully mouth-watering.  What a tease, and what a way to make the cooking time excruciating!  Yum Yum!

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