The ultimate guide to sausage festivals around the world
It's National Sausage Week! While I celebrate here at home with my Cumberland sausage and mash, I thought I would take a quick look around the world at how other countries revere their favourite bangers.
Hungary: Csaba sausage festival and Budapest sausage festival
The Hungarians celebrate their many varieties of Kobasz at the Csaba Sausage Festival.
It takes place in Békéscsaba every year, and visitors flock from all over the world to see this celebration of ancient pig keeping traditions and sausage feasts.
One of the main attractions is the sausage-making kneading competition where there are a whopping 500 teams!
They even sent a contingent from Thailand last year to enter their Sai Eur sausage.
The bonkers-for-bangers Hungarians also hold the huge Budapest Sausage Festival, showcasing not only sausages but also family folklore and dancing to lively music.
For those inclined, you can even watch a pig slaughter show.
Portugal: The sausage fair of Serra de Mochique
The Portuguese worship the weiner too: the sausage fair of Serra de Monchique showcases the linguica and chourico sausages which are also popular in Brazil.
Apart from the sausage munching, expect local crafts, spoon carving shows and a fair amount of local liquor sampling.
You can read more about it on the website Piglet in Portugal.
France: The Morteau Sausage Festival
The French produce a sausage so beautiful it is nicknamed the Belle de Morteau, and it's only allowed to be marked with the official metal tag if it's made in a certain way in a specific geographic area.
It must be made of pork and smoked in pyramidal chimneys, called 'tuyés'.
To use the label, 'Saucisse de Morteau', the sausages must be smoked for at least 48 hours with sawdust from conifer and juniper within the tuyés. The dense sausage is not cooked during this process, however, as the combustion is accompanied by a strong current of air.
The sausages must also be produced on the plateau and in the Jura mountains in the Doubs at an altitude greater than 600 m. Ooh la la.
Italy: Festa Della Cippola
The onions and the onion festival get top billing here in Sicily - but honestly what do you think they are eaten with? Right, here comes the sausage...
Supported with a minor cast of focaccia and cheese, they are the secret stars of this show.
Germany: The original German sausage festival/US: Alabama Frankfurt fest
Now honestly, who can say Frankfurter without thinking of Germany?
This slim sausage in sheep casing originated in Frankfurt, Germany, but the Americans have really taken it to their hearts.
Just for fun, I found a festival in the USA that worships the Frankfurter.
Deep in Alabama, Elberta Volunteer Fire Department spearhead a festival that sells nearly 7,000 pounds of sausage and boasts nearly 30,000 visitors.
Everyone is a volunteer and proceeds go to improving the town and local charities.
China: Harbin sausage festival
Say sausage, and China doesn't immediately spring to mind but in a place famous for its amazing snow and ice sculptures, the town of Harbin also celebrates the Hong Chang.
Made with lean meat, Harbin smoked Hong Chang red sausage comes covered in a thin layer of charcoal dust, as a result of being smoked over wood.
This year's event featured a 117 metre sausage to mark the 117 year anniversary of the introduction of the ingredient to its cuisine.
UK: Ludlow food festival
So I thought I’d end at home: did you know about the sausage trail? It's a fun little event that takes place during the Ludlow Food Festival. It’s just as it sounds... follow the map, snuffle the sausages and give them a score.
Watch the judges at the end and see if you agree. What a great day out!
Ooh and just one more thing to mention to leave you with a smile.
The Oaks Pub in Ramsbottom in Lancashire hosts the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships. Does that count as a sausage festival?
Maybe not, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun...