A sausage roll is a British savoury pastry snack, popular in Commonwealth nations and beyond. They are sold at retail outlets and are also available from bakeries as a take-away food. A miniature version can be served as buffet or party food.
The basic composition of a sausage roll is sheets of puff pastry formed into tubes around sausage meat and glazed with egg or milk before being baked. They can be served either hot or cold. In the 19th century, they were made using shortcrust pastry instead of puff pastry.
The wrapping of meat or other foodstuffs into dough can be traced back to the Classical Greek or Roman eras. However sausage rolls in the modern sense of meat surrounded by rolled pastry, appear to have been conceived at the beginning of the 19th century in France. From the beginning, use was made of flaky pastry, which in turn originated with the Hungarian croissant of the late 17th century. Early versions of the roll with pork as a filling proved popular in London during the Napoleonic Wars and it became identified as an English dish.
On 20 September 1809, the Bury and Norwich Post mentions T. Ling, aged 75, (an industrious vendor of saloop, buns, and sausage rolls). The Times first mentions the food item in 1864 when William Johnstone, "wholesale pork pie manufacturer and sausage roll maker", was fined £15 (2015: £1,300), under the Nuisances Removal Act (Amendment) Act 1863, for having on his premises a large quantity of meat unsound, unwholesome and unfit for food. In 1894, a theft case provided further insights into the Victorian sausage roll production whereby the accused apprentice was taught to soak brown bread in red ochre, salt, and pepper to give the appearance of beef sausage for the filling.
In popular culture
- The 1896 Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Grand Duke features sausage rolls as a plot device, where conspirators recognise one another by eating sausage rolls.
- In December 2018, the blogger LadBaby released a novelty cover version of the Starship song We Built This City titled We Built This City on Sausage Rolls. The song, a paean to the pastry, was released as a charity single in aid of Trussell Trust and was the UK Christmas number one of 2018.
- "Sausage Roll Recipe". Food Network. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- "Our New Cook-Book". Peterson's Magazine. 15: 438. July 1866. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Kollewe, Julia (22 March 2012). "Budget 2012: Sausage roll VAT row turns unsavoury". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Wallop, Harry (22 March 2012). "Budget 2012: Greggs sausage rolls to be hit". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Bury, Sept 20, 1809". Bury and Norwich Post. England. 20 September 1809. Retrieved 19 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- The Times Police.. 27 October 1864; pg. 9
- The Times, Police, 5 February 1894; pg. 14
- Arthur Sullivan; William Schwenck Gilbert; Ian C. Bradley (2001). The Complete Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan. Oxford University Press. pp. 1090–. ISBN 978-0-19-816710-5.
- Who is LadBaby – the dad behind We Built This City poised to beat Ariana Grande in Christmas number one race?: Zaina Alibhai in The Metro, Tuesday 18 December 2018