A Westcountry chain of butchers' shops is making pork and seaweed sausages – after being inspired by an article on foraging in the Western Morning News.
Andrew Maunder, boss of the Lloyd Maunder butcher's shops, is combining prime pork shoulder with two kinds of seaweed – sea spaghetti and dulce – also known as kelp, to make a sausage with a salty tang of the sea.
So far, in taste tests with the public in Exmouth, the new sausage has gone down well and the next step is to introduce it at Lloyd Maunder's coastal butcher's shops in Dawlish, Exmouth, Kingsbridge, Paignton and St Marychurch, Torquay.
Mr Maunder revealed he had read a piece by Totnes restaurant owner Matt Buzzo, who writes a monthly article about 'wild food' in the WMN's Morning News Country pages, and thought he would give the seaweed sausage a try. "I was talking to the lads at the Exmouth River Cafe and they said they would be happy to try some so I thought I would give it a go," he said.
Andrew sources his seaweed from the Cornish Seaweed Company and began his experimentation with just 2% of seaweed as a proportion of the overall mix. "That didn't give us enough seaweed flavour," he said. "We've now gone up to 15% seaweed and it seems about right, but I am still anxious to get honest feedback from people who try them."
The sausages are created by Andrew and his chef, Paul Watkins, in the Lloyd Maunder kitchens at the Greendale Business Park at Woodbury Salterton, East Devon.
And they could be just the start of a new range of Lloyd Maunder sausages with an added taste of the wild.
"I like the idea of taking good meat and adding wild and natural Westcountry products to it to create something new," he said.
So far production is small – just 20 kilos were made for the first taste test. But if sales take off them they can step up production. And there is no shortage of seaweed to provide the salty kick.