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Posh sausages are the best and Yorkshire has some of the tastiest in the country, says Tony Greenway
There are three strict rules I live my life by. I dont dance at weddings (no-one wants to see a fortysomething man in a sensible jumper shuffling around to Lady Gaga).
I dont watch anything on TV that has the words produced by Simon Cowell on the end credits. And, most importantly of all, I only buy the best sausages. Because there are sausages and then there are sausages. If youre sensible, you prefer the latter.
When I was young and impoverished (Im still impoverished, but sadly not so young) sausages were a regular feature of my diet and I would buy them from the local mini-supermarket. Once, feeling particularly skint, I opted for an ultra-cheapo, cheapo variety. This turned out to be a bad mistake.
They were disgusting looking pink cylinders filled with suspicious looking pink mush (sorry if youre eating as you read this) and they tasted like bicycle tyre inner tubes filled with wet leaves.
I immediately vowed to buy only the best bangers from then on, no matter the cost.
Living in Yorkshire makes this a lot easier because everywhere you look there are fabulous posh sausages in delis, farm shops, restaurants and butchers across the county. Problem is, theres only room for six on this page but here are our favourites.
Lishmans of Ilkley
Thanks to David Lishman there is now, officially, a Yorkshire Sausage (its hard to believe, but there wasnt such a thing until very recently). Welcome to Yorkshire and David, a butcher from Ilkley, led a series of Yorkshire-wide street sampling roadshows and events where over 3,500 locals helped choose the official winning Yorkshire sausage. You can find the recipe on the Welcome to Yorkshire website and the sausages in Davids shop, naturally. How good are they? Put it like this: hes even made them for the Princess Royal.
Small business, big name. Paul and Michelle Dennis are the owners of Masham Sausages which are sold to various outlets including a supermarket, hotels, restaurants and farm shops. Paul produces a range of favourites including pork, chicken, beef, venison, wild boar and lamb, plus his pork, stilton and asparagus number is mightily popular. But theres more. Paul recently won a Gold Award at the NEC in Birmingham for his pork, truffle and mushroom sausage. mashamsausages.com
Debbie & Andrews
Its not just the packaging that looks good, you know. Whats inside is pretty unbeatable too, from garden herb and Harrogate chipolata to Sicilian sausages and pork and apple flavours. Debbie and Andrew Keebles sausages are a Yorkshire phenomenon that are now stocked nationwide.
The Ginger Pig
Lamb, pork and beef is reared at The Ginger Pigs own farms on the North Yorkshire Moors and made into the most divine sausages. Flavours include Old Spot, garlic and juniper, prune and brandy and a spicy merguez. There are seriously good, and theres a great sausage guide page on the Ginger Pig website. thegingerpig.co.uk
Holme Farmed Venison
There might be something better in life than venison and wild boar sausages, I suppose. But, off hand, I cant think of what that could be. Holme Farmed Venison, in Sherbun in Elmet, produces a fabulous range of speciality sausages including venison sausage and wild boar sausage; but it makes a traditional Yorkshire pork banger, too.
Olley & Olley
Olley & Olley, a small family business in Ripon, makes a beautiful Italian peasant sausage with fennel seed, chilli and garlic. Plus, theres an authentic fresh chorizo with paprika, chilli and garlic, a simple rustic Toulouse sausage and the Olley & Olley trademark: the Whole Hog pork sausage. Hog heaven.
Is there a posh brand of sausages that really hits the spot for you?
Dont hesitate to let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no more appropriate email address and wed love to hear from you.