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Faggot

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Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig's heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes bread crumbs. The mixture is shaped in the hand into balls, wrapped round with caul fat (the omentum membrane from the pig's abdomen), and baked. Another variation of faggot is Pig's fry wrapped in pig's caul: the pig's fry and boiled onions are minced (ground) together then mixed with breadcrumbs or cold boiled potatoes, seasoned with sage, mixed herbs and pepper, all beaten together and then wrapped in small pieces of caul to form a ball. These are then baked in the oven and are usually served cold. The first use in print cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is in 1851, from Thomas Mayhew, although this appears to be a calzone- or pasty-like dish, with an outer wrapper of caul, covering a filling of mixed pork offal. This was in London.

The dish saw its greatest popularity with the rationing during World War II but has become less popular in recent years. Faggots are usually homemade and are to be found in traditional butchers' shops and market stalls.

A popular dish is "Faggots and Peas". This is a common combination in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, especially so since the 18th century industrialisation onwards, but also for hundreds of years prior. It is still common to see small butchers' shops in the area selling faggots to their own (sometimes secret) recipe for a cheap price. Commonly, the faggot consists of pork liver and heart minced, wrapped in kel, with onion and breadcrumbs. Often, the faggot should be cooked in a crock, with gravy and served with peas and mashed potato.

Faggots are also known as "ducks" in the Midlands, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Lancashire, often as "savoury ducks". "In Leigh market in 1905 you could buy a savoury duck rolled up in an oatmeal cake."

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References

Faggot, www.wikipedia.org

Faggots with onion gravy, www.bbc.co.uk

Faggots in gravy, www.independent.co.uk