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Sausage mad at M&S

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Sausage mad at M&S Someone at Marks and Sparks thinks sausages are a good idea. Unfortunately they seem to believe that nice packaging but rubbish food is ok.

At a recent premium sausage tasting I tried about 20 sausages from the major supermarkets. Clear winner was Chili and Coriander from Salisbury's. I tried Pork & Apple and Pork & Leek from M&S. Both disappointed, they were dry, had a crumbly texture and didn't emphasis the star ingredient -the apples or the leek.

A recent trawl round a large food department found several new or updated sausage dishes. All in the ready made category and sadly all failed to live up to the promise of the slick packaging.

Best of the bunch was the Baked Tuscan Sausages with Lentils. This is Italian sausage and pancetta baked with 2 types of lentils in a tomato sauce. Nicest part of this dish was the breadcrumb and herb topping, however for £3.99 I expected a slightly bigger portion (more than snack size anyway) and more than 19% sausage. However it was tasty, came with a nice terracotta pot and inspired me to make my own version.

For £2.99 (single serving) they offer Cumberland Sausage with Colcannon mash and onion gravy. This is in the Gastropub range and is meant to emulate the upmarket sausage & mash to be found in many a foody pud for a tenner or so.

Gastropub means good pub food and food provenance, this is tarted up school dinners. The Cumberland sausage was a pathetic, coil of insipid chipolata and had no peppery bite. The whole thing was laced with salt. A pack contains 430 calories - say 20% of an average daily intake for a sausage eating male but 3.2g of salt - or 50% of the daily salt intake. Rubbish!

Other poor products in nice boxes are pork meatballs with a tomato and chorizo sauce and a Cumberland potato pie.

Lastly I must mention the ultimate sausage convenience food. Lurking next to the Danish cooked ham you will find 2 Cumberland sausages which have been ready cooked and sliced. They cost over £12 a kilo and contain only 75% - but think of the time and effort you will save!

Surely M&S can sell us a decent sausage! Back to the drawing board!

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