Local man and ex chef, Gary McClure, caused quite a stir last August when his 11ft wide coiled sausage arrived in Broughton’s market square. The Cumberland Sausage was cooked on portable barbecues and held by a specially made skillet in a successful attempt to break the World Record for the biggest ever continuous sausage ring. This was filmed by Channel 5 and broadcast in January 2013.
Cumberland sausage is a local speciality and each butcher has their own recipe. No one knows how the sausage got its distinctive rope shape and spiced taste. Though there are several speculations. The spices maybe because of the spice ships sailing into Whitehaven during the 18th century when the town was the third largest port in the country. It has been suggested that the coiled loops were just more practical but I prefer the possibility that they were first made by the German miners who came to Cumbria during Elizabeth 1’s reign as a reminder of their Bregenwurst from home. Whatever the true provenance, the Cumberland sausage, it soon became a well established feature on the household menu in Cumbria.
Since 2011 the sausage has Protected Geographical Indication status under EU law and so, like Cornish clotted cream and Stilton cheese, it can only be made in Cumbria and be sold in a long coil.
So when you come and stay at Sykehouse Cottage, you should pop into Melville Tyson’s, the butchers in Broughton in Furness and buy a length of their own delicious Cumberland Sausage – a perfect teatime treat after a long walk.