Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Ali Dent - Hilgay - Pork & Herb Sausage
First of all let me inform you that Ali Dent is completely mental. In a nice way. We like our butchers to be quirky, and individual, and jolly, and all those kind of things - Mister Dent turns the dial on all these qualities up to 11. When you visit you will almost certainly be bantered. He's a funny bloke, don't be offended, I really consider this to be an additional dimension to this butchery that adds value to your visit. If you hang around for a few minutes you'll be able to enjoy the repartee shared with other customers too. A mark of a good local trader, Ali Dent knows all his customers and cares about them.
As well as being a great butcher and general store, Dent's is a hub of local activities and charity events. Cannot fault this man's commitment to his own community and helping others. If that sounds a bit gushy, well tough, Ali Dent is Norfolk's Mother Theresa, but with less hair and better flip-flops. Sadly the awesome "Two Pound Burger Challenge" that Junior Sidekick and I took part in back in 2015 is not going to be repeated, but there is so much good stuff going on in this village and surrounding environs. Keep up the good work dude.
Where To Find Them:
In the nice Norfolk village of Hilgay. Turn off the A10 between Littleport and Downham Market, go over the bridge on the River Wissey and continue until the road opens out into a small market place-type area. On the left you'll see Sausage House as it's known. Park on the surrounding roads but please don't block anyone in. If you're using SausNav type in PE38 0JD.
When I visited there was indeed a Stan present, beavering away behind the counter. No interraction due to being busy.
First reaction was "Mmmm, real tasty!" Not a bad first impression eh? The herbs are subtle but pleasing, pepper and sage don't dominate in a well-balanced taste. The salt is quite hot in the odd mouthful, but this just goes to show that the filling is hand-mixed and not mass-produced by a SausBot. I enjoyed these bangers and it was a real struggle to put two away for the Next Day test.
The squidge test was excellent, the filling stuck bravely together like lovestruck Montagues and Capulets, and while love may have torn them apart (again), only serious slicing could separate pieces of Dent's herby classics. These sausages are very solidly bound, and small but chunky just like me. Loads of small bubbles of good quality pork make for a good banger. All different shapes and sizes too. Nice.
Average Weight Uncooked = 55 grams
Average Weight Cooked = 43 grams
Meat Content = 78 %
Value For Money:
£2.31 for 6 sausages weighing 332 grams. This works out as £6.97 per kg and 38p per banger.
We rate this as really good value for money.
Junior Sidekick's Three Word Verdict:
JS was not present at this rating. Mwahahahahaha!
The "Aah, Bisto" Factor:
These blighters were feisty lil sizzlers in the pan, which is always a good thing. And they gave off a mouth-watering, super-tempting aroma.
The Imaginatively Titled Next Day Cold Sausage Test:
Would they fade away overnight and become bland and unappetising? Or man-up and intensify the flavour and aroma. I'm delighted to report the latter - these sausages were superb when eaten cold next morning - best dipping agent to my palate was horseradish! Unusual, but yummy.
And Finally, Esther:
I recommend you seek out this butcher and buy these sausages. Even "if" you don't like the bangers (and if you don't, what's wrong with you?) you can't fail to enjoy the retail experience!