Biggles - Toulouse
No sane carnivore is going to have a problem with a shop dedicated to sausages. Having said that, the dozen or so trips I have made to Biggles over the past 10 years have often left me slightly underwhelmed. It might have been the somewhat abrupt style of the sausage man (presumably Mr Biggles) or that whilst the sausages where good they never reached the clouds (to use a aeronautical metaphor).
I was thus pleasantly surprised when I tasted the selection pack that they recently gave me. They are all made on the premises using meat sourced from a farm in Kent. Mr Biggles explained that they find belly pork too fatty and therefore use leaner cuts such as shoulder (something borne out in the cooking). This is the continental approach so it is not surprising that the continental style sausages are good.
My selection contained 4 long, chunky continental sausages. The best selling Toulouse at £7.85 a kilo made with chunky, lean pork, garlic and a good dose of parsley, a Perigord made with wild mushrooms and red wine, a spicy Italian flavoured with fennel and garlic and lastly a Spanish Chorizo.
The Toulouse is the best seller, shifting 4 times as much as the others. As well a several Continental sausages they also make 11 Traditional British sausages including the local, Marylebone sausage made with mace, ginger and sage. These cost £6.10 a kilo.
All of the 4 I tried are good, the Toulouse is picked as SOTW because it is the best seller (and has made me crave parsley ever since I ate them at the weekend). They all look the picture, literally as each has a its own specific colour, they also smell good - garlic, paprika, fennel etc. We baked ours for half an hour, each sausage retained its individual colour and flavour with plenty of assertive taste and smell (probably too spicy for children). There was very little gunk in the pan (all that lean meat) or shrinkage. As well as good eating sausages they are all good enough for cooking such as the Toulouse in a Cassoulet or the Italian in a Pasta Sauce.
In score terms a credible 8.5 in our Taste Test.
Overall a tasty, continental splendid foursome, and only 5 minutes walk from the Selfridges end of Oxford Street - perhaps a Saturday shopping trip wont be so bad!