Monday, 23 April 2007

Ever Wandered About Sausages?

TVB Pearl, Monday 23rd April, 8pm

I'm currently watching 'Ever Wandered About Sausages' on TVB Pearl; a BBC production series that explores 'the science and history behind the food'. Hosted by Paul Merrett it offers some interesting viewing, despite annoying, jumpy editing.

The first dish Paul prepares is the 'classic' toad in the hole. Baking sausages covered in thick batter really isn't my idea of the perfect meal. Though what I found really fascinating was that this was, according to Paul, "home cooking at its best", especially when accompanied by frozen peas and granulated gravy! Why the frozen peas, when peas are one of the few fresh vegetables that constantly grow well in the English climate? The second recipe contrasted British home cooking with French, Paul prepared a cassaulet. Fresh ingredients were treated with love and care to produce a dish that really did look like "home cooking at its best", without even the help of granulated gravy.

Later in the show the discussion moved to the controversial haggis (is it or is it not a sausage?) but I was more disturbed when a picture was flashed of a deep fried haggis in a Scottish fish 'n' chip shop. Haggis I love, but precooked, drowned in batter, soggy and oily from a fish n chip shop? Forget it. Fish n chips, is another 'classic' UK dish, yet for my money it's going to be better anywhere else in the World; outside of the UK it will at least be cooked fresh rather than served soggy from a Bay-mare. I've had many fantastic meals in the UK and know some excellent British home cooks, yet why oh why does British food culture keep pushing and portraying below standard food as its greatest successes? Excellent game, Plymouth Gin and the World's best strawberries, focus on the positives not frozen peas and granulated gravy!

Finally the subject of sausages. Oh sweet Sausages, the one thing I crave. You can buy good pies at Sai Kong, Taste sells Coopers beer and every Yuen Long supermarket has Vegemite, yet where can I get a decent snag? Does anyone know a good butcher in Hong Kong making homemade sausages?

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