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What Are the Different Types of British Sausages?

By K. Kinsella
Updated May 16, 2024
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Traditionally, sausages have been an important staple of British diets. Certain varieties of sausages are synonymous with specific counties located in the British Isles. While processes for producing sausages have evolved over time, the actual ingredients that are used in particular types of sausages have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Among the most famous British sausages are the Lincolnshire, Cumberland, Glamorgan and Wiltshire varieties.

Lincolnshire sausages are named after the North Eastern county in which these popular sausages originate. Like most British sausages, the Lincolnshire variety contain pork as opposed to meats such as beef or chicken that are commonly found in sausages elsewhere in Europe. The sausages traditionally contain stale bread which is combined with the pork although fresher bread is often used in the sausages that are now produced. Lincolnshire sausages also contain sage as well as some pepper and salt for flavoring.

Cumberland sausages are named after a county in the far North West of England that has since been divided and renamed. These sausages typically contain pork and black pepper. Unlike most British sausages, Cumberland's are not divided into small sections or links. Instead, producers of Cumberlands make one lengthy section of sausage and butchers chop the long sausage into smaller sections. These sausages contain a higher percentage of meat than most other varieties of British sausages since ingredients such as bread that are use to bulk out most of types of sausage are not commonly found in Cumberland sausages.

Glamorgan sausages are named after the Southern region of Wales. These sausages contain neither pork nor any other kind of meat and are among the best known vegetarian sausages in the British Isles. Glamorgan sausages typically contain bread crumbs, egg, onions, herbs and locally produced cheese. Some recipes also call for the inclusion of mustard. Although the sausages contain no meat some people opt to cook Glamorgan sausages in pork fat as opposed to oil.

Wiltshire sausages are named after the Southern county that contains historic landmarks including Stonehenge and Salisbury cathedral. Like Cumberland sausages, Wilthshire's contain a high percentage of pork and these sausages also contain the sage that helps to give flavor to Lincolnshire sausages. In addition to these basic ingredients, Wiltshire sausages also contain mace and either ginger or parsley.

Aside from the well known varieties of British sausages, many local sausage producers sell sausages that contain a wide variety of different ingredients including different types of meat such as beef or Turkey. Some sausages are flavored with beer, stout or spirits. Additionally, many sausage producers sell varieties of the traditional sausages that do not contain pork.

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Discussion Comments
By whiteplane — On Feb 21, 2012

I have been able to convince my local butcher to make a batch of lincolnshire sausages. When I was a kid I went to England several times to visit my grandmother. She lived in Linconshire and without fail she would serve up these sausages.

But they are hard to find in the states and I haven't had one for probably 15 years. I saw a program on television talking about them the other day and I got this amazing craving. I talked to Fred my meat man and he agreed to make a batch and see how they sold. If it's popular it might become a regular thing.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Feb 20, 2012

I studied abroad in Scotland and while I was over there I fell in love with the fat pork sausages that the Brits seem to love so much. Bangers and mash has actually becomes one of my favorite meals.

Unfortunately, it is harder than you would expect to find British style pork sausages in the states. You can find pork sausages sure, but most of these tend to be breakfast link sized and they don't have the same seasoning blend. I have looked around but once you get into larger sausages you can often only buy Italian or bratwurst. Luckily there is a British restaurant not far from where I live that serves authentic bangers and mash.

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