Chicken, Rocket and Cashew Sausages – The Fridge, New Plymouth
I had to make a quick trip to New Plymouth over the weekend. When I was up there someone mentioned a butcher’s shop in Devon St, the main street of New Plymouth. Around lunchtime on Saturday I popped in. The shop is called "The Fridge" and it states outside that it is a butchery and delicatessen. It has the feel and look of a shop that sells quality food. The cuts of meat on display have obviously been aged, and the slabs of meat are ready to cut to the customer’s desire. A very impressive butcher’s block is behind the counter. A selection of cheeses and other delicacies are also for sale.
I choose two types of fresh sausages to buy. The chicken sausages made a quick trip back to Wellington where they were cooked up prior to the All Blacks giving the English a pantsing in the rugby test at Hamilton. A very enjoyable evening, with the All Blacks putting on an imposing display and handsomely walloping the English, while I munched on a quality chicken sausage.
These are chunky wholesome sausages. The chicken meat used is the thigh. I consider the thigh to be the best cut of meat in a chicken. It has more flavour than the breast. Fresh rocket and roasted cashews are added. The Fridge roast their own cashews and all the herbs they use are fresh. Salt and pepper are also added.
I cooked these sausages slowly. They oozed a bit out the casing. However with a slight bit of caramelisation they cooked up nicely. Once I bit into the sausage I knew that it was a very good chicken sausage. It tasted of chicken, this is dominant flavour. There are plenty of chicken sausages out there that taste of chicken flavour. These sausages have the taste of chicken meat. The cashew nuts are roughly cut and there are hunks of the nuts in the sausages. When you bite one the flavour of the cashew nut comes through. These sausages do have a strong pepper taste. The pepper flavour of the rocket I suspect has been enhanced by pepper. I would have preferred a different balance of flavours, with a reduced pepper taste, however this does not detract from this being the best chicken sausage I have tasted this year.
I talked to the owner of the butchery, Mark - he was friendly and engaging. I also brought some dried sausage, watch out for a review of the kolbaz. Mark gave me a slice of this sausage and it tasted great.
My mum, who is in her eighties, was with me. She said she had walked past The Fridge but had never been in the shop. Mum was raised in rural Taranaki, and brought up a family of five hungry kids, with a very limited budget. Her cooking was reflective of the era of NZ cuisine in the 1950s-1970s. Mum sampled the kolbaz and said it was too spicy for her. She did not like it. In the car on the way back to her place, she remarked that she could still taste the sausage. The paprika was obviously lingering as an after taste. There is a very obvious difference in our palates. I love a smoky spiced sausage while my mum’s preferred snarler is a plain pork sausage. The key element here is that everybody can be happy. However if she wants to be happiest when eating meat, my advice to her was, "If you want quality, I think I have identified a great place in New Plymouth to buy your sausages and meat."
When next in New Plymouth I will be back to sample more of the quality sausages made by The Fridge.
Cost per kilo: $22.50