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Cumberland Sausage

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Cumberland sausage is a form of sausage that originated in the ancient county of Cumberland, England, now part of Cumbria. They are traditionally very long (up to 50 cm), and sold rolled in a flat, circular coil but within western Cumbria they are more often served in long curved lengths. Sometimes they are made shorter, like ordinary British sausages, and sometimes they are coated in breadcrumbs.

The meat is pork, and seasonings are prepared from a variety of spices and herbs, though the flavour palate is commonly dominated by pepper, both black and white, in contrast to the more herb-dominated flavours of sausage varieties such as those from Lincolnshire. There are traditionally no colourings or preservatives added. The distinctive feature is that the meat is chopped, not minced, giving the sausage a chunky texture.

In March 2011, the "Traditional Cumberland sausage" was granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.


The Cumberland sausage has been a local speciality in Cumbria for around 500 years. It is not known how the Cumberland sausage came to acquire its special shape and taste. Historically, the sausage was more highly seasoned than it is today. This is largely attributed to the influx of spices into Whitehaven during the 18th century. During this time Cumbria was introduced to ginger, black pepper and nutmeg, as well as other foodstuffs such as molasses, sugar and rum. Many of these ingredients have been incorporated into some of Cumbria's local specialities, such as the spicy Cumberland Sausage.


Most sausages are divided into links but the Cumberland sausage is one continuous rope-like coil. The sausage is typically filled with coarsely chopped pork and black pepper, and sometimes other ingredients such as herbs and other spices. The meat content is usually 85% - 98%. However, the popularity of the Cumberland sausage has become so widespread in recent years that many large food producers started to mass-produce it and sacrificed its original quality with a meat content as low as 45%, containing emulsified rather than coarse-cut meat and being sold in thin links rather than thick continuous lengths

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