MTJ Extra Comment: Celebrating the sausage

What's the best selling item on your counter? Pork chops? Chicken drumsticks? It would be hard for most butchers, in fact, to look beyond the humble sausage. Whatever the changing fashions, nothing quite captures the British public's imagination like those classic casings filled with chopped meat.

Okay, so things have got a bit out of hand in recent years, with the likes of venison mixed with leek, sun-dried tomato and lemon thyme some combinations can test the hardiest of palates. But the sausage is one of the few meat products that has survived the recession, and with bells on with sales rising by 7.5% since 2007 (Mintel). Seen as neither a cheap product nor one that's out of reach for all but the very wealthy, the sausage is the ultimate in classless eating, a rare thing indeed.

Unless you hadn't worked it out by now, we love a good banger and, on 25 October, MTJ's Champion of Champions competition hits Butcher's Hall in London. As the name suggests, it's the best of the best open to any butcher that has won a competition with a sausage in the past 12 months. We'll be tasting some truly prime products and telling you all about the results.

It's the beginning of plenty of publicity for sausages. Shortly afterwards, Bpex's British Sausage Week in November will feature cook-offs around the country to find some delicious bangers. Then, later in the year, news will filter through on whether local traders have been successful in gaining EU protected status for Lincolnshire sausages. We wish them all the best, so long as it doesn't turn the sausage into too premium a product!

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