It has been a long time in coming but are now getting warm to taking another trip overseas. The closest I have been lately to anything away from these fair shores, is the eating of the occasional Danish biscuit or a generous thick slice of Strasbourg sausage sometimes called a ‘knob of Strasbourg.’. The latter I get at special events. I never get much encouragement when eating anything with bits of white fat embedded in a sausage with H wrinkling up her nose and chucking it back dismissively between its bulging brothers waiting in the frigidly cold part of miles of other waiting and competing sausages with white goods.
The history of the sausage is interesting and dates back to Roman times when the left bank of the Rhine( Alsace)already then supplied sausages to the Romans. In fact, even the word knackwurst dates back a few thousand years. The work ‘knack’ relating to the sound a good tight sausage makes when biting into it. It is even suggested that long pauses in German composers incidental pieces of music is thought to be caused by the composer taking a break to get stuck into another bite of a good sausage. If a lunga pausa ( long pause) together with a fermata (pause) is indicated on a piece of music it is not always that the composer took a breather, no he simply took a bite of knackwurst. It is well known amongst students of German and Italian music that Bach was known to fancy a bite or two. Glenn Gould, rest his genius soul, indicated that by a humming at every pause while playing the piano. Of course in the performance of an opera one could hardly expect a long pause by Pavarotti or Dame Sutherland taking a bite of a sausage instead of catching their breath.
It was a kind, bearded and ruddy looking man in the supermarket who saw me looking pensively at a Strasbourg knob who said; ‘ I buy one of these every week, they are fantastic value’. I appreciated his honesty and effort to include me in his culinary secrets and answered somewhat meekly; ‘I never had one of these.’. ‘Oh, you should, I love them,I would not go without the Strasbourg, I really love them, one a week for me, I tell the wife each time’.
I tried one after that inclusive and intimate conversation. I did like it but not at the rate of one a week. I have one a year or even less. The one in the fridge I bought yesterday in the lull of a terrible storm, is the third in my life. I just felt a need for it. They are 99% energy, according to the inscription on its taut skin.
Who can resist that during this cold weather?