A NEW range of sausages made with chocolate and fudge will be launched a top food festival.
The special bangers are being developed by young farmer and trainee butcher Arran Davies and his butchery mentor Brin Kelly at Abbey Farm, near Llangollen.
Their meat counter at Abbey Farm Shop is just up the road from where Hamper Llangollen will be staged on Saturday and Sunday October 18-19.
Now recognised as one of the UK’s top 10 food festivals, Hamper Llangollen is supported by rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd.
Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution comes via the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.
The event at the Royal Pavilion sees a wide range of food and drink exhibitors along with demonstrations by top chefs, as well as a Rail and Ale evening excursion on board a steam train with Llangollen Railway.
Arran, 27, is the third generation to work on Abbey Farm, next to the historic Valle Crucis Abbey, which has been in the family since the 1930s.
The secret recipe for the sausages, which also use pork from pigs raised on the family farm, is still being tweaked, admitted Arran.
“It’s a recipe that Brin has previously made, though he used cocoa powder then. This time we are using chocolate chunks – there will be dark chocolate and milk chocolate versions, as well as a fudge version which we think caramelises the sausage as it cooks, so it’s a sweeter taste.”
Brin, from Penycae, used to run his own shop in Coedpoeth until he took over at the Abbey Farm Shop butchery three years ago.
“I have previously made chocolate sausages and thought they would be ideal for our stand at Hamper Llangollen – in past years we discovered that visitors like to try something a bit exotic, something they can’t buy every day. These sausages will be savoury but with a sweet edge.”
A quartet of Wales’s best chefs will also have a starring role at the festival.
Graham Tinsley, executive chef at Carden Park in Cheshire and Conwy’s Castle Hotel, will be cooking up a Welsh feast with Mike Evans, hospitality lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos on Sea, and Dion Jones, one of Europe’s finest young chefs.
The ever popular Dai Chef, now the resident chef at Bodnant Welsh Food, the centre of excellence for Welsh food in the Conwy Valley, will also be there and Robert Didier, a baker who trained with culinary legend Raymond Blanc, will unveil the UK’s most expensive loaf – made with champagne and 24 carat gold, at the event.
Cadwyn Clwyd agri-food project officer Rob Price said: “Hamper Llangollen is a prime example of how Cadwyn Clwyd is helping to stimulate the local economy.
“The event will bring a large amount of people – and extra money – into the area, whether they are visiting for the day or staying the weekend
“There’s been a lot of interest in stands at the festival, both from established companies who have been many times before, and from new food and drink producers.
“There will be many new products on offer – such as Arran and Brin’s chocolate and fudge sausages – as well as more traditional foods, so there will be something for everybody.”
For more on Hamper Llangollen at www.llangollenfoodfestival. com.