We have been wrapping meat in pastries since the time we learned to prepare cooked meat and pasties individually. It has been one of the fondest culinary practices passed down to us by our ancestors. The Classical Greek or the Roman Era consumed meat always accompanied with a flour based food pocket, often one with its own seasoning, preparation and unique taste. Sausage rolls, although from similar culinary roots, happens to be a rather modern French innovation with its rolled pastry texture.

The flaky pastry that we know its characteristic to most sausage rolls these days, again takes cue from the Austrian croissants of the late 17th century. In its early days, sausage rolls were prepared with shortcrust pastry and are now replaced with a deliciously prepared flaky puff pastry. Puff pastry was a Spanish development in the early 17th century, a resembling adaptation of the Middle Eastern filo pastry used in Baklava.

Sausage rolls gathered its mass popularity by being a favourite and cheap street snack during the early 1800s in London. The most preferred meat during this era of popularity in London was Pork. Pork sausage rolls were a rage during the Napoleonic Wars and became identifiable with the British land since. British sausages are not as meaty as European sausages like bratwurst, and they are usually bulked up with rusk or breadcrumbs.

The minimum pork content for sausages to be legally called a “pork sausage” is just 42%! It has now become a quintessential British snack with a large fanbase spanning across the UK. Little fun fact, the renowned bakery chain in the UK, Greggs, sells around 2.5 million sausage rolls per week! It was only recently when the British government attempted to impose a “pasty tax” on hot takeaway food including sausage rolls that the public outcry in response to this was so strong, the government were essentially forced to abandon the plan.

The English snack with its strong roots has had diverse but absolutely delicious manipulations to its original recipe. Different cultures have brought in their unique culinary specialities into the recipe, making sausage rolls a truly global food, loved by all! One of the most interesting and widely received manifestations of sausage rolls are hot dogs, brought to us by the people of Hong Kong. Also called hot buns, hot dogs are hot dog buns and western sausage rolls put together and wrapped in a puff pastry. The soft buns with the sausage wrapped inside it make for a delicious snack or tiffin for most adults and school kids alike.

Sausage rolls being an ideal finger food can be prepared for any social occasions like family dinners, stall snacks at weddings, birthday parties or simply as a snack on a regular Wednesday. In its convenient portable form and shape, sausage rolls are ideal to carry on Sunday picnics inside your sandwich basket with your other sweet snacks. They are easy to prepare with market available pastry and frozen meat that you can easily and quickly stir fry on a pan. Seasonings that are peppery are most suitable for sausage rolls.

Vegan variants or vegan approximation can also be made for sausage rolls with your favourite meat substitute. Soy substitutes are mostly loved by vegans and vegetarians alike for this particular snack. In vegan preparation, the rolls can be prepared with soy and vegetable mixture to enhance the health and nutrient benefits. Given their upper hand at being more gut friendly and almost the same seasoning that goes into a regular sausage roll, vegan rolls are also consumed with the same zest and gusto! These rolls can be shaped into smaller bun sizes, and made into cute mini sausage rolls to snack during office/university hours.

These mini sausage rolls might just be your pre post workout snack, they are full of healthy calories and convenient to eat.

Fancy a classic?

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