Like brussel sprouts and blue cheese, marmalade is one of those weird foods that kids hate. To a younger palatte marmalade is quite nasty – bitterness overriding sweet together with a pointless overload of inedible peel and a sour after-taste. As a child there was nothing worse than the absence of jam in the cupboard meaning I had to plunge my knife into the marmalade jar and deftly cherry-pick the jelly in favour of the lumpy shred.
Of course as adults we now have taken a fancy to the majority of these yucky foods we disliked as kids. It’s probably got something to do with ageing taste buds or too much wine over the years, but either way my mother was certainly right when she’d told me sagely that eating mouldy cheese was an ‘acquired taste’.
Over at Low Howgill butchers in Appleby, Steve and Jennie Allison have decided to tantalise the taste buds a step further. Aside from top quality beef and lamb, (reared on Jennie’s parents’ farm), these two are foodies through and through. Each month they conjure up new speciality sausages from the Saddleback and Tamworth pigs they cherry-pick from neighbouring farms. This month they’re pushing the flavour boundaries with their original marmalade sausage.
Steve invited me to come and have a try and see if these porcine delights were up to #wellycool standards. Fresh out of the oven, and piping hot they truly were delicious. And did they taste of marmalade I hear you ask? Well, yes but not too overpowering. The sausage base is made from traditional Cumberland so there was enough ‘herbage’ to retain the savoury flavour. The shot of marmalade was almost like an accompaniment – after all, let’s not forget that sweet apple sauce goes oh so well with pork. It’s no ordinary marmalade either that is used to infuse these Low Howgill Cumberlands – local chutney and jam creator Sarah Smith supplies the all-important zesty ingredient. With no preservatives and passed through the food processor for a little longer than normal to reduce the peel, who knows, even the kids might like them too. I’m sure that Paddington Bear would give them a go….
Low Howgill Butchers, 21 Boroughgate, Appleby, Cumbria, CA16 6XF