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October, 2003
RULE BRIT’S BANGER (Brit’s bangers rule the plate)!
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Robert Wingrove Banbury Butcher from Wingrove’s Food Hall
When it comes to food, we Brits have become increasingly adventurous, with cuisine from every continent available to tempt our taste buds. But as far as sausages are concerned, the British banger beats the chorizo, wiener and salami, frying pans-down.

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Bangers and mash has become the gourmet’s choice in some of the country’s top eateries, and there’s now a chain of restaurants in London – interestingly called S&M – tempting sausage lovers through their doors.

Jan Edwards enjoying sausages

Listen to Jan and Robert celebrating sausages

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As a culinary star, the banger even has a fan club. The British Sausage Appreciation Society has more than 6,000 members, who swap recipes and look forward to their newsletter The Missing Link.

Some sizzling celebrations are planned for this, British Sausage Appreciation Week (October 27-31). In Oxford, TV chef Lesley Waters visits Gees on Friday afternoon for a tasting of 25 different varieties.

Top Oxfordshire sausage makers include Newitt’s of Thame, which has a repertoire of 10 different varieties and sees some seven thousand customers a week. Among their best sellers are Cumberland, a South African Boerwurst, Lamb and Apricot, and Pork and Apricot but, for Raymond Blanc, it has to be their Oxford sausage on the breakfast menu at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

Michael Newitt has been making sausages for 44 years: “The best quality pork sausages are made from young pork meat, nicely blended with seasoning and made with good bread rusk, well cooled.”

In Banbury, Robert Wingrove reckons he’s made around 100,000 pounds of sausages in his 19-year career as a butcher. Pork and leek is a favourite of customers at Wingrove’s Food Hall in Middleton Road, but his latest recipe – for the first ever BBC Radio Oxford sausage – could prove to be an all-time winner. Containing a secret blend of herbs, the unique pork sausage is on sale throughout November, with all profits being donated by Robert to BBC Children in Need.

Tuck into a British banger this week and you’ll be in good company: Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine and Rachel from S Club 7, are all said to be fans.

By Jan Edwards

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