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Some fried sausages.

The English call them bangers, the Australians call them snags, and they are an integral part of the Great British breakfast. A good butcher's sausage is made of a skin, usually the small intestine of a pig, which has been stuffed with finely-minced and seasoned beef or pork; this is then twisted to create a string of sausages. Some butchers1 are a little more experimental in offering their own recipe sausages, like wild boar and apple, or venison and cranberry. Cheap sausages contain mechanically recovered meat2 mixed in with cereal products, encased in an edible plastic skin.

The British Banger

There is nothing like a well-cooked pork sausage, with a bit of English mustard and perhaps a tiny bit of ketchup. They are lovely eaten in sandwiches while still hot, so that the butter all melts and coats the sausage.

There is an unwritten rule that clean and tidy restaurants serve the best food, and this is generally true, except for those seeking the perfect sausage sandwich. For the best sandwich3 look out for a greasy spoon café4 where the garnish consists of ash and whatever was living on the chef's sleeve at the time. If the chef looks as though he has not had a bath in a week and his clothes have never seen the inside of a washing machine, then you know you're going to get a great sausage sarnie.

Sausages of the World

Every nation has some kind of sausage, whether hot and spicy, cooked, dried, or smoked. Germany has bratwurst, Spain has chorizo, the French enjoy garlic saucisson, Italians love salami, whilst the American hot dog is a national treasure.

Every country has its favourite way of serving sausages. In the southern USA, sausages are served on savoury biscuits with lashings of gravy. The British eat bangers and mash with onion gravy and also enjoy the strangely named 'toad in the hole', a concoction of sausages served in a roasted batter.

1Such as Crombies of Broughton Street, Edinburgh and Jarvis of Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, who both do an excellent selection.2Animal tissue which is recovered from the carcass by machine after the meat has been removed.3Or 'sarnie' in local parlance.4Pronounced 'kaff'.

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