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About Musk’s

Musk's Newmarket Sausage

A Musk’s Newmarket Sausage is a premium pork sausage made using fresh British pork shoulder with 137 year old secret blend of spices.

All our sausages use shoulder and never any no offal or other by-products. The Newmarket sauage is our "Hero" product and contain a secret blend of spices created by James Musk's back in 1884 and remain unchanged ever since. They are a natural colour of the meat, deep pink-beige with a few flecks and have a dry and coarse texture with visible pieces of lean meat and fat, which give the sausage a slight bite when eaten.

What's in a Newmarket Sausage?

A premium sausage with a minimum meat content of 70% pork

Includes a fat content of typically less than 20%

A Newmarket sausage must be made within a defined area around Newmarket Town

They are also produced as: a chipolata style sausage which is between 8-12cm long, a cocktail sausage (6cm) and a ‘jumbo’ (between 20-24cm).

Protected Geographical Indication

In 2012 the EU granted the Newmarket Sausage PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status. It joined the list of over 50 regio nal speciality products from all over the UK which enjoy a protected food name. A ‘Protected Geographical Indication’ (PGI) means the sausage can only be made in a defined area to strict specifications by members of the Newmarket Sausage Association (NSA)

History

The first reference to Newmarket and sausages dates specifically to 19th November 1618 when James I was visiting the area.

The first reference to Newmarket

The first reference to Newmarket and sausages dates specifically to 19th November 1618 when James I was visiting the area.He held a banquet to celebrate the 18th birthday of his son Charles (later King Charles I) described in a letter from the Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Charleton.

The king brought a great chine of beef, the Marquis of Hamilton four pigs incircled (sic) with sausages, the Earl of Southampton two turkeys, another six partridges, and one a whole tray full of buttered eggs so all passed of pleasantly.”

The Marquis of Hamilton, a Scottish nobleman would have obtained the sausages locally, there being no means of refrigeration in those days.”

Newmarket has been associated

Newmarket has been associated with horse racing since King James I organised the first race on the site which was run in 1622 and the Newmarket Sausage later became inextricably linked to the races. They were sold as a quick hot snack to eat at the races and in the various hostelries during the racing season.

Race-goers also bought them to take home after the event. In 1849, Sylvanus describing a tour to the Newmarket area in Bentley’s miscellany (edited by Charles Dickens) stayed at the White Hart Inn, Newmarket where, after a visit to see the horses, he and his companions “returned to breakfast on Newmarket Sausages and water-cresses”.

Sausages Demand During Racing Season

During the racing season the demand for sausages was tremendous, Baily’s sporting magazine in 1860 reporting; “we heard on our arrival that every stall at Newmarket had its occupier, as every bedroom its tenant, and the sausage machines had never ceased working”. Sausages were also sold at the major markets and fairs in the town, Gardener in 1851 claiming that the November 8th Cattle Market, which was also a pleasure fair, was particularly noted for its sausages.

Although a dozen butchers were said to be operating in Newmarket in the early 20th Century each producing their own sausages, gradually the number of shops declined leaving just three producers of the Newmarket Sausage. Although the earliest reference to Newmarket and sausages is in 1618 (given above), a distinct type of sausage called the ‘Newmarket Sausage’ only appears in the literature in the mid 1800’s, the 1849 reference above being the earliest so far discovered.

References to the Newmarket Sausage

More recently there have been numerous references to the Newmarket Sausage in cookbooks and guide books. They are described in the ‘Traditional Foods of Britain’, (Laura Mason with Catherine Brown, Prospect Books 1999) part of an inventory of the food products from all the regions of the European Union and Clarissa Dickson-Wright, in her latest book, recalls her earliest experience with Newmarket sausages.

The Newmarket Local History Society in its review of Newmarket history gives a full write-up to the local production of sausages, substantiating all that is claimed.