Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bang on! Pig Blogging Weekend


I fell in love with England the first time I went over there in the 80's. It was my first trip abroad and I was eager to experience what English life was all about. I tried exotic beverages and snacks like scrumpy and oxtail flavored crisps. I even stockpiled mint cakes and little jars of clotted cream to bring home with me.

For the first week or so I stayed on a farm in Devon. It wasn't very exciting but I ate the freshest peas, lamb and gooseberries ever. Then I went to London and ate fish and chips and Indian food. Remember, this was the 80's before London became the culinary hot spot it is today.

I loved the sense of history, the beautiful countryside, the "new wave" music, the fantastic museums and the chipolatas. Oh sure, I loved the bangers and mash too. But have you ever had a chipolata? Now that is a thing of beauty, the size of a finger, oozing with fat, juice and porcine goodness with spicy flavor to boot. Not like any other sausage I ever had.

Here in the Bay Area bangers are the only British sausage available. Bangers are another kind of pork sausage altogether, much larger and milder than chipolatas, with onions and bread crumbs to give flavor and texture. Bangers and mash make for a real comfort meal especially with a little onion gravy. And according to research from Mintel, bangers and mash are back in vogue. In Britain they are gaining in popularity, up 17% since 2000. Kate Winslett even served them at her wedding. Now if that isn't posh nosh, what is? Health food it ain't, but then again you can't have everything. On the other hand, if there's any chance you know where a girl can get a chipolata...