Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kipferl, Long Lane, EC1A

I recently made a trip to Smithfields market to have a look around the area and see if I could find any better places to get a sausage sandwich than Kurz & Lang which I had reviewed previously. The centre of the London meat trade must have somewhere good nearby, right?

Well, it wasn't as easy as I'd hoped. Admittedly I was walking around randomly, without having done any research, but the sheer lack of eating places in the immediate vicinity of one of London's most important markets was quite surprising.

I wandered around for a while and was on the verge of giving up when I found a cafe called Kipferl on a very unassuming street about a block away from Smithfields. Then I realised that the place had been mentioned in a comment to one of my earlier posts. Anyway, the menu in the window mentioned Austrian sausages so in I went...

The cafe is tiny and only has about four, tiny tables so be prepared to takeaway. It does however stock a wide range of Austrian food and drink including cakes and desserts. It's really an Austrian deli more than an eat-in cafe.

Kipferl's menu features an Austrian trio of sausages; wiener, debreziner and kaesekrainer. Sadly the last one was unavailable on the day I visited. The kaesekrainer is an Austrian sausage made with pork and beef with small cubes of Emmental cheese inside (it has to be Emmental cheese as it has a higher melting point and doesn't turn to goo when the sausage is cooked). Sounds really interesting and I may have to go back to try that one.

In the end I ordered a 2 sausage, Kipferl special which consisted of a wiener, and debreziner, bread and a plate of mixed, cold salads.

As you can see, both sausages are of the processed, frankfurter variety. Both are made with pork (did the wiener contain beef too? I'm not sure); the wiener is plain and un-spiced whereas the debreziner is pepped up with a little paprika, giving it its red colour.

The big difference between these sausages and those of Kurz & Lang is that Kipferl's are either boiled or steamed and I think this style of cooking suits these kinds of sausages a lot better. They come out moist, plump and juicy.

The bread was a thick, seeded slice of brown bread. Very hefty and designed to give you that Teutonic eating experience of a bite of sausage dipped in mustard, followed by a separate bite of bread. It's not my favourite way of serving sausage and bread but it seems to be how they do it in Austria and Germany.

I really liked both sausages on their own, and I loved the mild, moreish mustard on the side. The meat was firm and not overpowered by MSG or other additives. I just wish i could have had them as hot dogs to get the full sausage and bread effect.

4 out of 5. A unique little cafe well worth checking out.

To find out more about Kipferl, check out their official website

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Commercial Break: A selection of hot dog ads

I've only ever seen one hot dog commercial in my life: It was the Westler's Hot Dog ads that they used to show in cinemas back in the early 80s. It's a different story in the States, of course, where hot dogs are an integral part of food culture.

So, as I get the next post ready, here are a few vintage American hot dog commercials for you to enjoy: