Tuesday 28 May 2013

Walsingham Farm Shop - Heacham - Trio of Sausages!

Three bangers in one review, it’s a first for Rate My Sausage and hopefully an enjoyable read for our loyal reader (thanks Barry).  We returned to Walsingham Farm Shop at Heacham to sample some of their more specialist varieties of sausage, after finding their simple Traditional Pork Sausage pretty good last year.  Michael wasn’t around on this occasion, but a very helpful Stan served us in a most polite and informative style.  In fact all the staff are super-friendly and seem happy to be there – it’s a lovely place to work.

Left to right you can see Tomato & Basil, Pork & Cracked Black Pepper, and Pork & Chive sausages. Looking great, all irregular shapes and sizes, lovely!

Right here, at the start of the review, I’m not sure what format to follow, so please forgive me if I jump around a little.  Let’s get cracking!.

Tomato & Basil

A “darker” flavour than I expected, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed.  I remember eating tomato sausage when I was a child, and they didn’t taste like this.  I expected the tomato to be the leading flavour with the basil as best-supporting ingredient, but it is very much the other way round.  Where will I find a tomato sausage like I remember?  The texture is good, somewhat better than average but could be improved further (as always).  The well chosen combination of flavours does combine nicely with the well-provenanced (very) local pork, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for or expecting, so I was left feeling a little deflated....to coin a sitcom-style summary, I wanted less Fawlty Towers and more The Good Life – less Basil and more Tom!

Pork & Cracked Black Pepper

A better balanced flavour than the tomato variety, and absolutely delicious.  Very smooth for a pepper-based banger, subtly warm, it toasts your taste buds with a scented candle instead of a flamethrower.  This is the second cracked black pepper we’ve seen in recent weeks, is this a trend among my butchery heroes? This is a brilliant sausage that was very much enjoyed at RMS Towers.

Pork & Chive

Very different again. The pork and the chives are on an even keel and serve up a nicely built banger.  This is a full and rich flavour, akin to a slice of your backyard herb garden in a sausage skin.  As much as these were pleasant on the breakfast plate I feel they’d be more at home and more suitable for something like a sausage casserole? This was Junior Sidekick’s favourite variety of the three and he is developing a good nose for a good banger....last week he visitied a mate’s house for tea where they ate bangers and mash for tea.  On the way home he confided in me, in very hushed tones, “They were Iceland sausages Daddy....”


Tomato & Basil
Average weight uncooked - 67g
Average weight cooked - 51g
Shrinkage - 24%

The butchery department are obviously proud of their work and their department has a viewing window so that the customers can check out how the meat produce is being treated....

Pork & Cracked Black Pepper
Average weight uncooked - 61g
Average weight cooked - 47g

Shrinkage - 23%

Pork & Chive
Average weight uncooked - 55g
Average weight cooked - 45g
Shrinkage - 17%

Overall, although this is a slightly unfair figure, the shrinkage works out at 22%.  Not disastrous, not brilliant, don’t let it put you off sampling these well-made sausages for yourself.

Value For Money:
This is what this paragraph looks like in our “Blank Review” template, before adding the vital statistics:

£x.xx, weighing xxxg - this works out as a price of £x.xx per kg, or xxp per snorker.

These were free samples  therefore I have no numbers to crunch into that sentence on this occasion.  The trio of sausages from Walsingham Farm shop therefore didn’t cost us anything....however, each variety is priced at £7.26 per kilogram which, averaging across the three varieties, works out as 44p per snorker.  That’s a pretty good price for a pretty good product.  I’m declaring them to be “very good value for money”.

Through A Child’s Eyes:

Junior Sidekick only got to try these sausages cold, on a Thursday evening after school, so let’s skip on to....

Tomato & Basil, sliced.

Pork & Cracked Black Pepper, sliced.

Pork & Chive, sliced.

The Imaginatively Titled Next Day Cold Sausage Test:
This was done at the same time as cold-tasting sausages from frozen food shop Iceland.  The photos are at the end of this review, can you tell which is the retail crap and which is a proper butcher’s banger?  It’s not difficult, in my opinion....

Tomato & Basil
Still a darker, more herby flavour when cold, and combined exceptionally well with Grandad Bungalow’s home-made green tomato chutney, lovely!

Pork & Cracked Black Pepper
Solid and satisfyingly filling, would be perfect for a sausage buttie for your packed lunch or a picnic.

Pork & Chive
Also bulked up nicely in the fridge, too close to call with the Pork & Cracked Black Pepper for which variety is best when chilled.

All three varieties were very good cold, more than can be said for the despicably tragic offerings from Iceland....

Opening Hours:
Monday: 0900 - 1730
Tuesday: 0900 - 1730
Wednesday: 0900 - 1730
Thursday: 0900 - 1730
Friday: 0900 - 1730
Saturday: 0900 - 1700

Sunday: 1000 – 1600

And Finally, Esther:
A slightly mixed bag of a review for Walsingham Farm Shops’ sausages, but this is down to my own personal preferences.  All three varieties were well-made and ticked a lot of the boxes that make for a good banger – please do yourself a favour and head off to Heacham to experience them for yourself!  Grandad Bungalow rates the Cracked Black Pepper bangers as “the best I have ever tried”....

I absolutely adore Walsingham Farm Shop, and I seriously implore you to visit them as soon as possible....

One last thing to report, sadly  in a negative tone, about Walsingham farm Shop, Heacham - this utterly freaky wicker figure in between the rows of lavender. Scary!

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