Why? Just... Why?

>> Thursday, 4 March 2010

You can't get proper sausages in Moscow. Not British sausages, at any rate. I know it's not just in Russia that this is the case since I'm not alone in this particular expat lament: I have a girlfriend who left the UK for the US a few years ago and who comes back with her family every summer, not only to reconnect with her roots and family, but at least in part to gorge on home-grown sausages.

And frankly, who wouldn't? They're all the things one shouldn't eat; fatty, full of god-knows-what, cholesterol-raising little bites of heaven. And for some crazy reason, they don't seem to be available over here.

Oh, there is talk of sausages, yes. But they're either frankfurters or salami-type creations, not crispy-on-the-outside-melting-on-the-inside-deliciousness occasions of culinary sin like they are back home. And whilst I would hate to give you the wrong impression of our usually healthy diet consisting only of processed food and convenience snacks (who, me?) I do believe in moderation in all things so in the UK, once every few weeks, sausages would show up on the menu at Restaurant Potty.

Since we've been in Moscow, however? Just the once. Let me tell you why.

In the absence of our beloved British sausages I decided to give frankfurters a try. Well, the Boys had eaten them at a friend's in the UK, and from what I could see they were quite easy to cook. Just grill or boil them, right? Not ever having cooked them at home I had no experience here so it was by pure chance that I decided to go with the boiling approach rather than grilling them. If I had done the latter I think the first time I would have realised they were encased in a coat you are supposed to remove before eating would have been when the hot plastic hit the roof of my mouth (or, even worse, the Boys'). Don't panic though - for the speed readers amongst you who didn't follow that sentence completely, I did not grill them. No, I boiled them, and luckily spotted - and removed - their plastic jackets (which I'm afraid to say reminded me unfortunately of - well - you know) before the sausages made it onto a serving plate.

But no, it's not the plastic coating that inspired the title of this post. That comes from the moment I cut the frankfurters open before giving them to the Boys, just to check that eyes and teeth weren't too much in evidence. (What? What do you think goes into these things?). And, no, I didn't find any visible identifiable remains. But what I did find was mayonnaise.

Inside the frankfurter. Speckled through it, actually, like little lumps of fat.

I dry-heaved - and you have my permission to do the same.

(In fact, you'll be in good company if you do, as if Footballer's Knees is reading this I know she will already have done so because she did exactly that when I told her this sorry tale at our family lunch last weekend).

This being zero-hour, however, and having no other dinner options for Boys #1 and #2, I'm ashamed to say that I did serve these abominations up - de-jacketed, obviously - along with steamed veggies and baked potatoes.

And in the usual way of things, these frankfurters being hideously 'wrong' and just about as revolting a thing as I have ever cooked, the Boys loved them.

What it is to have a discerning audience, eh?


Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy 4 March 2010 at 20:37  

I'm dry heaving away here. Of course the boys loved them. The way to tell how bad the item of food is for you is by how much the boys love it.

Can't wait to get my hands on some proper sausages. It's been YEARS!

planb 4 March 2010 at 20:37  

oh I'm so with you. If anyone ever asks me if there's anything i won't eat, I say "yes. Foie gras and frankfurters". I've only had them once. And NEVER AGAIN. Did the boys eat them????

Paradise Lost In Translation 4 March 2010 at 20:45  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paradise Lost In Translation 4 March 2010 at 20:47  

Drat you've reminded me again about ho wmuch I miss proper Butcher's sausages, pref from the Oxford sausage shop. I had frankfurters once as a child & threw up. Never been able to even SMELL one since without heaving. Yup my kids love them too. I always remember my little boy aged about 2 in a pub saw CHIPS for the 1st time. Had NEVER had them , yet immediately pointed to them & said he wanted them. And of course loved them, despite his organic, pureed fruit, veg & home made diet up to that point! ;o) I swear kids are born with a 'junk food' gene

Calif Lorna 4 March 2010 at 21:25  

Um, there's a plastic coating? Really?

I've only made them once but I didn't notice that.

Oh dear.

nappy valley girl 4 March 2010 at 22:13  

Uuughh - are you sure it was mayo?

My boys love frankfurters since coming to the US - I don't think I ever cooked them before but hot dogs are so ubiquitous here. I just microwave them - haven't noticed the plastic, though, which is rather worrying.

We can't get real British sausages here but the boys seem to like something called Sweet Italian sausage which is vaguely similar.

Tattie Weasle 4 March 2010 at 22:29  

Berlimey I swear the Herta ones don't have a coat on them - yup I'm afraid I give franfurters to my kids I love the look of horror on people's faces!!! It's such fun....esp at birthday parties!

Iota 5 March 2010 at 03:16  

They're culturally very open, your boys, aren't they?

Iota 5 March 2010 at 03:18  

And I have to confess I merrily gave frankfurters to my kids for years before realising there was anything wrong with them (and I'm still not sure they're all that bad, honestly).

A Modern Mothr 5 March 2010 at 06:49  

Aren't those little Britih cocktail sausages you have at Christmas
full of lots of gross things too? I think it is just ground up more in hot dogs. Probably best to avoid. I've never seen plastic coatings, I wonder what the purpose is? Keep them from sticking to each other? Anywhos... I hope you find some good stuff to eat.

Noble Savage 5 March 2010 at 11:00  

That sounds pretty disgusting. I remember being repulsed by peculiar aspects of British cuisine when I first moved here. I still shudder at the mere mention of black pudding or Marmite or marzipan-encrusted "cakes."

By the way, I had an email from some PR or another a few days ago and they obviously had us mixed up because he/she said "I know you live in Moscow now, but..." Perhaps if we smushed our blogs together we could create The Potty Savages or Noble Potty or The Savage Diaries? ;-)

nappy valley girl 5 March 2010 at 14:21  

I've just noticed that the ones I buy call themselves 'skinless' franks - maybe the 'skin' is the plastic?

sharon 5 March 2010 at 14:35  

Sausages down here in OZ can be pretty dire compared to the great British banger PM so you have my sympathy. My 'boys' loved frankfurters too when they were younger. Personally I think they are totally foul. Younger son has discovered a particularly vile concoction called a cheese sausage since arriving here. I shudder to think what it contains apart from the advertised 'cheese' and 'sausagemeat'!

Expat mum 5 March 2010 at 17:00  

Now you've set all the expats off pining for good old bangers. There are hot dogs (or something) over here with cheese in the middle which sound on a par with the disgusting stuff in the frankfurters. Yuck!

Potty Mummy 5 March 2010 at 17:33  

Brit, have one for me, would you?

PlanB, they did - and loved them.

Paradise, they are - and sadly, I never lost mine!

Lorna, perhaps it's just here...

NVG, well, I'm HOPING it was mayo!

Tattie, maybe it's just the Russian ones with the overcoats then.

Iota, it's less the frankfurters that I worry about (I'm sure normal sausages are not much better), more the yucky mayo in the middle. (I mean, I love mayo - but not inside a sausage)

Modern, I think you may have hit the nail on the head about the sticking together. Not that that makes me feel any better, mind you!

NS, I am extremely flattered that some pr person got us mixed up - and 'The Savage Diaries' has a definite ring to it. Perhaps not suitable for a parent blog, though...

Sharon, CHEESE? Dear god, no!

EPM, see my comment above to Sharon. Cheese in sausages? And I thought mayo was wrong...

Iota 5 March 2010 at 18:53  

Or how about "The Savage Potty"? The ultimate gadget to help exasperated parents in the throes of potty training. You sit your child on it, and unless he/she performs within thirty seconds, the potty administers a sharp pinch to the child's bottom. I think this has potential...

Miss Welcome 6 March 2010 at 09:22  

The worst culinary experiences abroad are when we try to compare them to our own delicacies - like the Chinese restaurant we went to in East Africa that served "egg rolls" - huge omlettes with vegetables inside. Makes sense, doesn't it?

But if you're in China and you're handed a chicken foot, you expect nothing other than a chicken foot. :o)

Mwa 6 March 2010 at 18:33  

I miss British sausages, and I'm not even British. I will admit to "cooking" Frankfurters occasionally, but I swear never any with mayonnaise in them.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings 7 March 2010 at 04:24  

That sounds so gross. It's like cheese in the middle of sausage....I'm not a fan of that at all.

Potty Mummy 7 March 2010 at 18:01  

Iota, I think you've been reading too many Steven King novels...

Miss W, thanks for visiting and commenting and for your pertinent comment; that's very true!

Mwa, I believe you. Really!

Lisa, this cheese sausage thing is clearly quite widespread. Who on earth thought it up?

Bush Mummy 8 March 2010 at 21:20  

Have to confess that having a German living in our house, 'furters are a regular thing in our fridge and.. what's more..

I love them.


BM x

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