DUNCAN BARKES: On the hunt for a sublime sausage...

A DECENT banger is hard to find these days, so I’ve been celebrating British Sausage Week, which concluded on Sunday.

I freely admit to being a sausage snob and I urge you to adopt a similar position. A chunky, meaty, well-seasoned snorker can be a beautiful thing.

Finding a sublime sausage can be pot luck if you are eating out. In some cafés they clearly go for the cheapest option; a lurid orange tube, with the most minimal of meat content, slapped on your plate. Goodness knows what else they have stuffed in there to bulk it up.

Other venues take the opposite view; they realise that a banger can make or break the eating experience and wisely invest in superior sausages. It is this type of establishment that we should be supporting as sausage snobs.

Supermarkets have a wide range of products for sausage lovers, but take care when making your choice. There is always the budget range available, often alongside the latest offering from some organic farm, usually endorsed by a celebrity chef who is desperate to make a few quid. Sometimes, contrary to the marketing slogan, it’s impossible to ‘taste the difference’.

For those looking to save a few quid or a few minutes, these options have a place, but the true sausage snob turns his or her attention to a proper butcher to satisfy their cravings.

This is where I can help. Over the years I have discovered a number of outlets that I am selflessly prepared to share with you. M J Penfold occupies a shop on The Ridgeway, Parklands, Chichester. Mr P produces the fabulous Elphick sausage, named after the family of actor Michael Elphick (Boon) who lived locally and whose family had a butchers’ shop.

Earley’s in Barnham also knocks out a banger of great repute. I enjoy mine with crusty bread, a smearing of mustard and a bottle of real ale.

J Knight Butchers on the corner of The Strand and The Boulevard in Durrington do a stupendous sausage. I am not alone in my faith in them – they have won several sausage championships over the years.

Is that really the power of love?

I HAVE set up a league table for the most patronising Christmas advert.

Currently vying for the top spot is the dreadfully sexist Asda commercial that proudly claims ‘behind every great Christmas there’s Mum’. It is like something from the Dark Ages. The other nauseating ad is for John Lewis and features a loved-up snowman accompanied by a tortured version of The Power of Love.