It is heartening that the great British sausage is making a strong comeback in spite of the lure of vegetarianism, and against the massed ranks of industrially produced bangers with little flavour and less interest. The Lincolnshire sausage is one that is at the forefront of the cause, a sterling pork sausage from a county where raising pigs has a long tradition.
The product itself is a very simple one, and nothing wrong with that. Generally of a good size, perhaps an inch in diameter, and weighing around a couple of ounces per link, the Lincolnshire is to be identified by its coarsely chopped or ground pork, rather than finely minced, and having a goodly amount of sage to flavour it. Sage is a herb associated with the county for its pork pies as well as its sausages
The course meat gives the sausage a satisfying texture, far more open and toothsome than the slurry found in some of the ‘bags of mystery’ sadly sometimes sold as sausages in this country.
In 2004 a group of Lincolnshire butchers began a campaign for the Lincolnshire sausage to have Protected Designation of Origin status, their wishes being: to reserve the name for sausages made from British pork; for the sausages to be made within the county, or at least its boundaries prior to local government reorganisation in 1974; natural casings to be used; and for the meat content to be a minimum of 70 per cent.
Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough in the county, brought the matter up in the House of Commons in 2005, and since that time the campaign has moved on apace, with the Lincolnshire Sausage Association being formed in support of its aims. It is surely to be hoped that they win the day. Lincolnshire is after all a county that takes its sausages seriously – the ancient city of Lincoln holds an annual competition to crown the best sausage maker in the county.