Sausage of chopped pork with spices, predominantly cracked or ground black pepper. Little binder. Formed into larger (c11/4in diameter) continuous skins, not linked and therefore often sold by length rather than weight. Most usually cooked curved into a pinwheel.
Traditional Cumberland Sausage is an EU Protected Name, the full specification is here:
Image: Andrew Fogg
Cumberland Sausages were traditionally made with the meat of the heavy, hardy, Cumberland pig, but the breed became extinct in the 1960's.
There is a rumour that the distinctive Cumberland form arrived with the German miners who came to Cumbria during the reign of Elizabeth I.
It seems to be the case that, historically, the sausage was more highly seasoned than it is today. This is attributed to the influx of exotic spices into Whitehaven during the 18th century when its port was the third largest in the country, and Cumbria discovered black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, molasses and rum, the ingredients now incorporated into Grasmere gingerbread, Cumberland rum nicky, and the spicy Cumberland sausage.
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