|Associated cuisine||United Kingdom|
|Serving temperature||Hot or room temperature|
|Main ingredients||Puff pastry, sausage meat|
A sausage roll is a savoury dish, popular in current and former Commonwealth nations, consisting of sausage meat wrapped in puff pastry. Although variations are known throughout Europe and in other regions, the sausage roll is most closely associated with UK cuisine.
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.
A vegetarian or vegan approximation of a sausage roll can be made in the same manner, using a meat substitute.
In the UK, the bakery chain Greggs sells around 2.5 million sausage rolls per week, or around 140 million per year.
The wrapping of meat or other foodstuffs into dough can be traced back to the Classical Greek or Roman eras. A dish of meat surrounded by rolled pastry had appeared by the beginning of the 19th century in France. Use was made of flaky pastry, which in turn originated with the Austrian 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 (£1,600 in 2021), 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.
Similar meat and pastry recipes include the Czech klobásník, the Belgian worstenbroodje, the Dutch saucijzenbroodje, the German Münsterländer Wurstbrötchen and sausage bread in the United States.
Hong Kong has developed its own style of sausage roll. Instead of having sausage meat wrapped in puff pastry like the traditional western style, the Hong Kong style "sausage bun" (Chinese: 腸仔包) consists of a sausage wrapped inside a soft milk bread style bun.
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.
- ^ "Sausage roll row: US 'invents' new summer snack". BBC News. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
- ^ "Sausage Roll Recipe". Food Network. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- ^ "Our New Cook-Book". Peterson's Magazine. 15: 438. July 1866. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- ^ "Greggs working on vegan versions of all its bestselling foods". The Guardian. 23 August 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
- ^ 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
- ^ "Brits furious after America claims it invented the sausage roll". News.com.au. 28 June 2017.
- ^ The Times, Police, 5 February 1894; pg. 14
- ^ "Sausage rolls (Hong Kong style) - How to make it at home". Taste Of Asian Food. 13 April 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
- ^ 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.