The Big Sausage Bash 2019 

For years the people behind Norfolk Food & Drink (now Proudly Norfolk) organised Battle of the Banger as part of the yearly food fest. Eight or so local Norfolk butchers would cook up dozens of bangers, cut ‘em in to bites and share with hordes of people, the public would then judge their favourite. Inevitably Archers won, they’re a good sausage but other good sausages are out there and did win occasionally. 

But then we were told there would be no more battling bangers after 2018.

We liked battling bangers!!!

There is also Framlingham Sausage Festival – a day of walking, queuing and eating chunks of local butcher’s sausages one after the other all over the town – another great foodie day out with stalls and street food. The whole town comes alive.

Then a few caterers & butchers came up with The Big Sausage Bash, which was held Sunday 12thMay 2019, 10am – 4pm in Aylsham as part of Slow Food Aylsham. 

It was a chance to promote the BANGER – the staple for any butcher. Plus all ‘Good foodie Stuff Norfolk’

So, Charlie Hodson (Chef, Cookery Stage Host & Charlies Norfolk Food Hero’s), Sam Bagge (manager at Walsingham Farm Shop), 

Johnny & Jason from Coxford Butchers in Aylsham along with help from Aylsham Scouts & the Church came up with this amazing event. Also helping to promote Aylsham, slow food Aylsham and the great British Butcher.

Sausages have been around for over 4000 years originally a way to use up the lesser cuts of pork and encased in intestine skins. Known as bangers, as they would often explode in the pan. We rest them over night now – that stops any unnecessary explosions. 

Did you know I won a competition with my recipe for Chocolate Sausage’s – – we’ll I did? See Green & Blacks Cookbook, page 90 for proof. 

Anyway – 

It was an amazingly sunny day, the village looked beautiful. Blocked off from cars and bustling with food stalls of every description. 

Local & Norfolk, of course – – 

Bace Foods– vegetarian bean based sauces / dips or fillers.

Old Hall Farm– raw milk, milkshakes, ice-cream & fudge.

Sandringham– Apple Juice

Monty’s– Mustard

Moon Gazer Ale

Currylicious– Ready-made frozen curries, take-outs and street snacks.

Candi’s Chutney – of all sorts

Rocket Ship Chilli Sauce– mild, medium & head blow off-er

Nova Farina– Gluten Free pea flour and crumbs.

Foundry Drinks– Wild Knight Vodka, Caramel vodka and Gin 

Chat Valley Vineyard– Norfolk Wine

Stokes– Sauces inc, ketchup

The Home-Made Doughnut Company– donuts of every flavour inc, bakewell, banoffee & jammie ones.

Chillis Galore– chilli sauce and jelly

Gurbeck– scotch eggs and pastrys

Walsingham Farm Shop– local cheeses

The Tea Lady– jams, chutneys & Marmalades

A De Piff– Spice mixes

Give it some beans– Coffee

Raider Cider

Downham Cider

Plus, HOT sausages for 50p from Coxford, Walsingham, Papworth and Open Norwich. As well as the standard butcher’s banger was a wild garlic & lemon variety from Walsingham and a Sundried tomato, olive & herb one from Open.

They even had Mr Pig Man himself ‘Tim Allen’ with a trailer of fat piggies to goo-gle over.

One massive factor I’ve learnt increasingly over the last year is Farmers love their animals, (well certainly all the local farmers I’ve met and interviewed) they care about the animal welfare, they name them, they treat them and fuss them. 

Those little piggies have a lovely life, happy in the UK with the perfect weather for their skin, happy to fallow in cooling mud and slosh around in muddy puddles. Regularly fed and watered with tasty nibbles. Left to get jiggy with it, left to mother and suckle their young. 

It’s a life they have enjoyed before their inevitable fate. 

Happy pigs – delicious bacon!

Anyway, back to bangers – – – 

Then in the town hall was cookery demos hosted by Charlie and set up from the Cookery Live Team.

I saw a sausage making demo from the Old Hall Farm team including Tilly their Butcher. And she really knows her stuff – the farm has recently opened up a café, the cows are milked next door and they’ll soon be a butchery department where you’ll see the occasional demo and class. Tilly’s also promised to make treacle bacon with their happy pigs.

Plus, Icarus Hines amongst the other butchers and chefs from all over the county demonstrated deliciousness. Plus, unlike other food stages I could mention you can actually try the food – if your quick.

Along with all of that was Dann’s trailer selling ice-creams and milkshakes. The Proudly Norfolk marquee, a police pitch (hello, hello), Feast magazine, Slow Food Aylsham selling salad sides to munch on with your sausage plus they had a refreshment and cake kiosk. If that wasn’t enough some of the local town shops were open like cafes, odd nick-knack’s, crafts and clothes. 

AND – they had a truck trailer with bands on over by the pubs. 

An amazing venue, tons to do, tons to see, lots to buy, plenty to eat – all together foodie heaven, oink oink.

Money raised went to Cancer Research UK, Hospitality Action UK, Aylsham Church, Scouts & Cluster Group. 

So not only FOOD-MAZING also WORTHY.

The organises guessed maybe a thousand or so might attend, but there was an estimated over 3.5k peeps bobbing about.

Sausages ran out in the end, all 800 freshly cooked donuts zoomed past me before I missed out (mistake no.1 – thinking I could grab a donut after a sausage lunch.) My husband missed out on a scotch egg and I missed out on a Lamb Samosa BUT who would have thought the sun would have shined so brilliantly and so many people would flock to the very first sausage bash.

I’ve been told on good authority there is going to be one next Year – – – I’m buying 6 donuts at 10am!!! sitting in a corner at 2pm and eating at least three, maybe four.

So, here’s to next year – may it be as BANGING as 2019.

Book it in – – – Sunday 10th May 2020

Zena Leech-Calton ©