If you’ve ever watched The Inbetweeners, you will hear references to many beloved British culinary traditions such as Nando’s, Pepperarmi’s, Carvery’s and perhaps most mentioned of all: Sausage rolls. In the U.K. every grocery store, cafe and deli seems to display these pockets of artery-clogging, sausagy goodness in their window.
It’s also interesting to note that North Americans and Crazy British Folk put the emphasis on different parts of the word. A “SAUsage roll” in Canada is a “sausage ROLL” In England; this makes it sound as if one is commanding a sausage to roll. Is that just me?
A Bit of History:
It’s hard to find a cut-and-dry history of the sausage roll. Puff pastry, or something akin to it, was used as early as the 15th century and likely came from Muslim Spain. It seems to be a cousin to Middle Eastern Phyllo pastry, though many attribute puff pastry to French painter and cook Claude Gelee.
By some accounts the sausage roll was invented by a British man who enveloped cooked pork inside a posh French criossant to mock the French. By others it was a German convict cook. An extensive google search has me quite convinced that no-one quite knows the origins of today’s sausage rolls.
One thing I do know is that Brits really have a thing for stuffing some sort of meat/filling into some sort of dough… pasties, steak & ale pies, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, the list goes on!
The taste test:
I bought my sausage roll for 90P at a local Gregg’s. Apparently Gregg’s sells 2.5 million sausage rolls a WEEK in the U.K. which is a testament to it’s popularity here.
The pastry surrounding the sausage is super flaky. It falls apart and basically melts in your mouth. The sausage itself doesn’t have the crunch of casing you’d get with a regular sausage; it is very soft all the way through and has a very savoury meaty sausage flavour (though the ratio of actual meat content is debatable). Served nice and warm it makes a lovely comfort food on the go.
Though it can’t quite replace my love for it’s North American cousin the corndog, the sausage roll is a win :).
What do you think? Corndog or Sausage Roll? And what should I try next?