Traditional Cumberland Sausage

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Cumberland sausage belongs to the tradition of British fresh meat sausages. It comes from North-West England and it has a strong link with Cumbria county. In 1911, it was described in the “Reliable Guide to the curing of Cumberland Hams and Bacon and the Preparation of the offal in the Cumberland Style”.

Although recipes can be traced back to 1828, its history is largely undocumented. It is thought that sausages were introduced with the arrival of German migrants that came to work in the mines of the area during the 16th Century. This would have also explained the specific shape of Cumberland sausages: they are long and coiled, reminiscent of the shape of German sausages.

In the past many farms and households used to own a pig for self-sufficiency, and in Cumbria there was a local breed, the Cumberland pig. The Cumberland sausage was usually made from the meat of this local pig, after which they would be hung among hams and other cured meat products to dry so they could be preserved. Unfortunately the Cumberland pig disappeared during the 50’s, to be replaced by more productive breeds, suited for industrial breeding. Nowadays, a project has been developed to recreate the breed, which hasn’t been recognized yet. The traditional Cumberland Sausage is currently made with other local breeds, extensively reared.

Traditional Cumberland Sausages are made from boneless pork cuts with the addition of pork fat. This mixture of chopped pork is seasoned with spices (black and white pepper, nutmeg, marjoram, sage, etc.). The seasoning is said to derive from the fact that Cumbria used to host very dynamic ports, notably Whitehaven port, where during the 18th century many exotic spices arrived.
The meat and spice mixture is then filled in the sausage casing, which, according to the traditional recipe, must be made of natural pig’s intestines. The meat content of the Traditional Cumberland sausage is 98%, even though the PGI, obtained in 2011, allows an 80% of meat content. Today only one producer still makes it with the traditional 98% meat content, with a mixture of fresh and cured pork. This sausage can be either grilled or boiled.

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StateUnited Kingdom

England - Nord Ovest

Production area:Cumbria

Other info


Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Riccardo Tognin