Newmarket sausages were first mentioned in November 1618, when James I visited the aea and details of a banquet for his son’s 18th birthday (later King Charles I) were recorded in a letter. The Marquess of Hamilton contributed four pigs, encircled by sausages, to the feast.
In 1849, Bentley’s Miscellany (edited by Charles Dickens) includes an account by Sylvanus, of a visit to Newmarket with friends, to see the horses. Afterwards, they returned to The White Hart Hotel https://www.whitehartnewmarket.co.uk/ for “Newmarket sausages and watercresses”.
Suffolk had long been a centre for pig rearing and racegoers would eat hot sausages as snacks. The popularity of these sausages grew outside of Newmarket. Racegoers would order them to take home or have them sent by rail.
Newmarket sausages have had PGI status in the European Union, since 2012, for all three recipes. Whether this will continue after the transition period, is unknown, in May 2020. It is possible for countries which aren’t EU member states to have food products listed, however.
In 1884, James Musk, a butcher, married widow Elizabeth Cooper Drake and started trading in Market Street. In 1905, the shop moved to Newmarket’s High Street, where it remained until 1979. The first Royal Warrant was given for Musk’s Newmarket Sausages, by George, Prince of Wales (later King George V) in 1907. Edward, Prince of wales, awarded Musk’s a Royal Warrant in 1929. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother honoured the company with a Royal Warrant in 1965 and her daughter HM The Queen Elizabeth II followed in 2005. Musk’s sausages opened a factory in Newmarket in 1996.
In Newmarket itself, Eric Tennant The Quality Butcher sells both Musk’s Newmarket Sausages and its own Newmarket Special Sausages PGI but doesn’t do mail order.
Clarissa Dixon Wright talking about her first Musk’s sausage
Musk’s Newmarket Sausages can be bought from Ocado. Waitrose and Tesco. You may not be able to buy all the variants eg gluten-free, reduced fat, pork and cyder, pork and leek, breakfast sausages and chipolatas but they can be bought online.
Powter’s Sausages began in 1881, when the current owner’s great-grandfather came to Newmarket as an apprentice butcher. The family still has a shop in Newmarket, in Wellington Street CB8 0HT. Sausages can be bought online at https://www.powters.co.uk/product/newmarket-pig/ but due to heavy demand, as at 18/05/20 they are only selling 9 x 6 Newmarket Pig pork sausages for £31.95 including shipping.
The key difference between Musk’s, Eric Tennant and Powter’s Newmarket sausages PGI recipes, are that Musk’s uses bread, not rusk. in all sausages except gluten free, when they use rice.