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Category Archives: Organic Farming

A Story of the Simple Sausage

Is there anything more satisfying than a sausage? Fresh off the barbecue in a crusty bread roll with fried onions and mustard, a good sausage is hard to beat. One of the more humble foods to to be found in the fridge, the simple sausage is in fact a gastronomic delight, with the usual pork sausage complemented by more exotic cousins (anyone for a christmas pudding sausage? How about zebra?), meaning that no matter what flavours float your boat, there’s a sausage for you.

Epicharmus-of-KosOur love of the sausage goes back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks were particularly partial, with the philosopher and Gazegill-Pastured-Speciality-Free-Range-Pork-Sausages-Selection-300x200dramatist Epicharmus of Kos even writing a comedy entitled The Sausage. Sausages were also much beloved of the Romans, and are said to have been eaten during the pagan festival of Lupercalia, held on February 13-15. Lupercalia was a bizarre orgy of naked men rampaging the streets and whipping anyone they encountered, with women forming not so orderly queues to be whipped, as it was believed to make them fertile. Rumour has it that sausages ended up being banned by the christianised Emperor Constantine, who disapproved of all this pagan debauchery. Rumour also has it that the origins of Valentine’s Day lie in Lupercalia, so if you’re struggling to find the perfect Valentine’s gift, say it with a sausage.

Whilst we may have (largely) grown out of naked rampages, we haven’t grown out of sausages.sausage-time The language of sausage, much like the language of love, is universal – whilst we might revel in a Cumberland ring, South Africans are powerless to resist a boerewors sausage, and the Germans worship at the altar of the bratwurst. The British, incidentally, have also taken the sausage very much to their bosom in terms of their sense of humour – German sausage in particular is found to be very amusing, cropping up extensively in ‘Allo ‘Allo!, but also getting a few sneaky mentions by Hugh Laurie’s Prince George in Blackadder. Sausage time!

CUMBERLAND-RINGS-grass-fed-pork-300x200But are all sausages created equal? In a word, no. The variability between the quality of sausages can be vast. Cheap sausages can contain as little at 30% meat (with most of that 30% consisting of fat, mechanically recovered meat and maybe even a bit of snout). The meat is also likely to have come from factory farmed animals, where the welfare of the animal comes in second place to its profitability. The remaining 70% of the sausage consists of a frightening range of what can only be loosely termed as ingredients, including water, rusk and additives such as potassium triphosphates. I have no idea what potassium triphosphates look like, and as my Granny always says

If you don’t know what something looks like, you’ve no business putting it in your mouth.

(my gran’s words, not mine)

Unsurprisingly, the result of all this is bland, tasteless and unappetising sausages.

Fortunately, the solution to this is simple. Buy good quality, local organic sausages. Made in small batches, these have a far higher percentage of meat, which leaves little space for horrible additives and bulking agents such as water. You’ll also salve your conscience, as a quality sausage is likely to have been made from a well cared from animal. They may well cost a little more than a cheap supermarket sausage, but in terms of quality and taste there is no competition. So whether you like a Cumberland ring, a pork and black pudding sausage or even just a plain pork sausage, your taste buds (and your barbecue) will thank you for it. Check out our range of sausages why don’t you?

Thinking about raw milk? You’re not alone…

The recent announcement by the Food Standards Agency that consumers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales should be icon-didyouknowallowed to buy raw milk from vending machines in shops is in part due to the increasing demand for this natural product. But where does this demand come come from? No doubt a major part of the appeal of raw milk is in its taste – packed with a flavour that changes with the seasons and even the diet of the cow, pasteurised milk cannot compare with its raw equivalent.

Taste is only a part of the picture however. One of the biggest benefits of drinking raw milk may be for your health. We’re becoming more and more aware of the benefits of foods locally produced on a small scale rather than mass produced in a factory. We’re also embracing natural, unadulterated foods in preference to processed food (and don’t kid yourself that pasteurised milk is natural – it isn’t).

have-you-tried-raw-milk-banner-217x300But it goes even further than this. Milk is naturally a rich source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals, many of which are destroyed or rendered useless in the pasteurisation process. Raw milk is also rich in the kinds of bacteria that does you good (pasteurisation can’t tell the difference between good and bad bacteria and destroys them all regardless) – this beneficial bacteria is claimed to strengthen the immune system, helping to protect against conditions such as asthma and eczema.

And if you need any more persuading, raw milk produced by organic farms such as Gazegill is the product of happy, contented grass fed cows, whose milk won’t contain traces of the hormones, antibiotics and other medicines often found in commercially available pasteurised milk. And it’s milk that is never more than 4% fat, so it’s good for your waistline too. Not to mention the pro-biotic properties that create and maintain a healthy gut balance, great to re-kindle our healthy bacteria and a must to maintain it!

So…what are you waiting for?