Talk to me about chipolatas
November 24, 2014 8:21 AM   Subscribe

I need to serve chipolatas at my Christmas dinner this year, but I only vaguely know what they are.

Ok, yeah, so: the Googles say they are small pork sausages, sometimes (often?) served in England at Christmas. Sometimes wrapped in bacon?

Where/how can I get some?

I live in the USA, in Texas, so I can't just pop over to Tesco. I'd be willing to do mail order, but I'd be doing so blindly. I would much prefer some sort of recommendation.

The flavor profile, ingredients, and size (other than "small") seems to be pretty variable, so I suppose if I have to just end up getting any old small sausages and calling them chipolatas that will do.

Yes, this is related to Harry Potter.
posted by dirtdirt to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Chipolatas are small sausages, not as small as cocktail sausages.
For the most part you are right size is the key point here, but I would expect them to be pork probably with a bit of herb flavour thrown in (rosemary, parsley etc) also quite thin.

(I was going to say that when wrapped in bacon they are often called pigs in blankets, but a quick Google tells me that in the US that means some kind of dough/pancake travesty. Anyway, in the UK they might be called pigs in blankets or Kilted sausages. That might help you in terms of search.

I also cannot recommend them highly enough re: christmas dinner.

These guys say they will send you chipolatas.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:36 AM on November 24, 2014


They are about the size of a small thumb and normally a smooth rather than coarse filling. Also the type of bacon you'd need would I think be called Canadian bacon in the US
posted by KateViolet at 8:37 AM on November 24, 2014


Ironically, I was Googling this kind of "US Replacement For Chipolata Sausage" myself recently. The most consistent authority I found is that they're kind of like smaller, skinnier versions of the "Sweet italian sausage" you find in supermarkets - breakfast links are a little too spicy. Then again, the sweet italian sausage are too big for what I think you may be trying to do.

Here's an online source that ships free in the US - it looks like the "breakfast bangers" are what you want, for $8.95 a pound.

And upon preview - Canadian bacon is NOT what you want to stand in for the bacon that you'd wrap the pigs-in-blankets with; Kateviolet, it's much thicker than I think you're thinking of. The link I posted also has "pork back bacon" which would suit, or if your supermarket sells you "slab bacon" where it's just the slab of meat and you have to cut the strips off yourself, that could also work. The "bacon" in US supermarkets, that comes in flat packages and is smoked and stuff, is thought of as "streaky bacon" in the UK. (Although, I don't see why you couldn't use it for the British pigs-in-blankets application....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:40 AM on November 24, 2014


The Chipolata Sausage wikipedia page is interesting - since they seem to be a French invented concoction with an Italian name that is mainly understood as something in the UK. The illustrated sausages are too long however - the UK ones are the the size that can be balanced on a cocktail stick. There is a good overall European sausage page too - useful for the whole pig in blanket thing.
posted by rongorongo at 8:42 AM on November 24, 2014


Yes, you would indeed want streaky bacon.

Further Wikipedia research suggests that what I would call Streaky bacon is:
Bacon from the pork belly, with streaks of meat and fat
Which in the US:
The term 'bacon' on its own generally refers to strip bacon from the belly meat of the pig, which is the most popular type of bacon sold in the US.

So I guess just regular bacon is the ideal type.
Bacon is complicated.(And important!)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:44 AM on November 24, 2014


The Chipolata Sausage wikipedia page is interesting - since they seem to be a French invented concoction with an Italian name that is mainly understood as something in the UK. The illustrated sausages are too long however - the UK ones are the the size that can be balanced on a cocktail stick. There is a good overall European sausage page too - useful for the whole pig in blanket thing.

Hate to get into a sausage argument here, but as far as I am concerned (nationality: British, location: south-east England) the ones you put on cocktail sticks are "cocktail sausages", and the ones in the Wikipedia picture are definitely actual chipolatas. This may be a regional thing I guess.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:47 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be delighted to get into a sausage argument, because EndsOfInvention is correct:

Cocktail Sausages are different to Chipolatas.
Cocktail sausages can be balanced on a cocktail stick Chipolatas are longer.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:49 AM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


i just care a lot about sausages is all
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 8:50 AM on November 24, 2014 [12 favorites]


Re size and cocktail sticks: I am happy to concede on this. Lots of "foreign" food that has been around for a while in the UK is understood by different people to be different things. Where I grew up in Scotland people where referring to Chipolata sausages at the same time as when olive oil was primarily considered as something one might use to clean one's ears with.

Anyway - here is somebody who has published a recipe to let you make your own
posted by rongorongo at 9:04 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would think if you were in Dallas, Austin, or near the I-35 corridor between the two, you would be able to get a sausage from a German, Czech, or Polish butcher/deli that is very similar to the British or French chipolata.

If you're in Dallas, go to Kuby's. I don't know about other places.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:10 AM on November 24, 2014


I live in New England, and can get chipolatas from my local butcher shop, with about 24 hours notice. Call around; I think you may be surprised what a small butcher can do for you.
posted by anastasiav at 9:24 AM on November 24, 2014


Looks like Myers of Keswick here in NYC has them. I'm pretty sure they ship, so maybe give them a call?

And about a recommendation: You can have mine! Myers is great! I go there in person to buy meat pies and sausages all the time, in addition to my fix of Quality Street. No idea about their shipping practices.

Good luck!
posted by functionequalsform at 10:10 AM on November 24, 2014


Just to chime in I'm another one who has chipolatas as the long thin ones as per the Wikipedia pic, cocktail sausages are much shorter and also generally much lower quality of meat.

As an aside pigs in blankets done properly always meant sausage meat wrapped in bacon to me, even nicer than with the sausages.

(IAASL - I am a sausage lover)
posted by thetarium at 1:12 PM on November 24, 2014


Trader Joe's has these which are pretty close: Bavarian Bratwurst. Despite the name, they're small--not like Johnsonville Brats.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:16 PM on November 24, 2014


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