The Giggly Pig - Scottish Sausage
By: The Giggly Pig
Christmas 2001 saw Tracy Mackness staring a 10 year prison term for conspiracy to supply cannabis. Now, after less than two years of making sausages she has built up a succesful business selling bacon, sausages and porky prducts.
In total, Tracey took 52 courses in prison. She thought about setting up a fitness business when she got out. However after moving to an open prison she spent every free second on the prison farm (think of Fletcher on the Prison Farm in Porridge) and went on to complete National Vocational Qualifications 3 in pig husbandry and worked in the prisons butchery to learn how to make sausages and cure bacon.
There are several Prison Farms growing food. We have listed Hewell Grange plus there is Leyhill Prison at Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, Kirkham Prison in Lancashire and East Sutton Park in Kent which has won Meat Industry awards for sausages (this is probably where Tracey started).
The Giggly Pig Company was born days after Tracy was released from prison in early 2007. She started with 30 rare breed saddleback pigs and now has over 300 pigs and 24 breeding sows.
She is a regular at over 20 farmers markets in and around London, Essex, Surrey and Kent. All of the sausage making, bacon curing and butchery is done in an old butchers shop just down the road from the piggery and her Romford home.
This is great story and clearly she has caught the media attention. Her chequered past is probably helping her business grow but you have to admire someone who has moved from being banged up for selling weed to selling bangers!
But are her sausages any good?
The Giggly Pig Company makes over 40 sausage flavours. Interesting flavours including Hop, Cider Apple, Bramley apple, Stilton & Asparagus, Pork & Chestnut and Lemon & Fennel. We brough the best selling Old English and the Scottish. The price for both was £8.99 a kilo, the typical price for a quality sausage made with 80% free range, rare breed meat (Saddleback pigs).
The sausages are typical thick bangers and are fairly lean - so not much fat in the pan and little shrinkage. The Scottish Sausage was the best by a long way, the Old English was bland with soft skins and a pappy textrure. The Scottish is made with pork, 10% rusk, water, oats and salt. It had a coarser texture (I liked the little bits of oats) and more flavour with a nice hint of peepper. These do not seem to be super meaty Sunday Lunch sausages but are good honest bangers worth a solid 7.5 out of 10 in our scoring system.