Myers of Keswick and the Calling for Sausages

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Since moving to New York, I have not once visited either of the two city-renound British food shops Myers of Keswick and Tea & Sympathy. This is not for lack of fancy for Heinz Baked Beans, Marmite, PG Tips and Digestives- it’s just that since moving we’ve had rather a lot of UK visitors who only receive a towel and clean sheets on presentation of the such favoured items. Nothing is free in this life, even for friends and family looking for a bed.
The summer heat however, seems to have put off further hotel-avoiding visitors and our supplies have nearly all but dried up. Fortunately, New York has a rather strong British contingent and the demand means that the most basic English goods can be found in just about all the main New York supermarkets. I even read recently that there is a campaign for a “Little Britain” in the city- although if this has any resemblance to the TV show, then I think I might be forced in shame to adopt an American accent after all.

But when I did some research on the Internet and discovered that Myers of Keswick were purveyors of true British Chipolatas, Bangers* and Cumberland sausages, there was a rumble in my tummy that signalled I would have to make a trip downtown. Oh the joy that a Chipolata would bring me. Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, served with a side of mash and peas or baked beans with a fried egg on top. Cravings like these are essential to nurture and satisfy. Having been raised in a household that ate sausages every week, it came to no surprise to me that I would miss them when I crossed the pond- it was only a matter of time.

Americans’ do not know how to make good sausages. There I’ve said it. The day that I crave an American Breakfast sausage, Frank or Weiner will be on the same day that I’m diagnosed as no longer having taste buds. I apologise if I have offended any American but I don’t take offense at your hate for Marmite. My pure disgust for American sausages led me to do some research into how they are made. American sausages tend to be sold precooked, they don’t contain breadcrumbs and the meat is pulverised rather than finely chopped but I don’t see how this can make them so different. I think there is more to it and I intended to find out**. But in the meantime, I needed a reminder of how good the sausages from back home are.

Walking into Myers of Keswick it is like walking into a little village shop in the English countryside (minus the kids counting out their penny sweets, and the smell of freshly printed newspapers). The shop itself is tiny, but it sells every British staple including several varieties of Baked Beans stacked on shelves the whole way up the wall. Of, course there is a heavy price to pay for these delectables- but with a large population of British people in New York pining after sausages and beans- it’s expected; I suppose.

I was seduced immediately by the sausages behind the glass casing and despite their raw and flaccid condition they seemed to me, a picture of comfort. Even without knowing that they supplied Gordon Ramsey’s New York restaurant “The London” , I would have found temptation in them.

Needless-to-say I was not dissatisfied. I baked a selection off in the oven and they had just enough fat near the skin surface to create a crispy outer-layer. The flavours were spot on- no ketchup, mustard or onions required. I may have just become a good friend to Myers of Keswick- or certainly overly familiar face. Next stop: Tea and Sympathy.

*They are called Bangers for their tendency to burst open when cooking, if not pierced.

**For more information on American hot dogs please visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Hot_Dogs/index.asp

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7 Responses to “Myers of Keswick and the Calling for Sausages”


  1. 1 Linda July 10, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Hi, I came across your site while searching for Heinz baked bean in NY. I am from Australia where Heinz baked bean comes in a lot of different sauces like tomato sauce, cheesy tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, ham sauce, mild curry sauce, sweet chilli sauce etc.

    I had been looking everywhere for Heinz baked bean and finally found in Dean&Deluca but only the one in tomato sauce. Is there anywhere else I can get Heinz baked bean?

    I haven’t been to UK and not sure how the sausages there taste like, but I do agree American sausages are bad. I do miss Australian sausages.

  2. 2 Anna Helm July 12, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Linda- you can find the normal heinz baked beans all over the city- even in normal supermarkets but I haven’t really come across the other kinds. I think I saw the ones with curry at Myers of Keswick though. I try to make all my visitors bring me them over! Let me know if you find them!

  3. 3 Carole August 22, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I used to live in NYC and visited Myers quite frequently. Five years ago I moved to the state of Washington. I miss this little shop and will make a stop there when I visit NYC in October. We have a little tea shop here in Bellingham, but nothing like Myers, although I can get PG Tips there and can get Aero bars at another local shop (presumably because we are so close to the Canadian border). Now if I could just find a place that has Bartlett’s Sherbet Fountains :-))

  4. 4 Carole August 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Oops, that should have said Bassett’s Sherbet Fountains 🙂

  5. 5 Wales Abroad November 5, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Thank god, someone else who is completely puzzles by American sausages! Since I arrived in NYC a few months ago I have searched high and low for the formidable Cumberland or just a simple Pork and Apple. What I came face to face with was an extensive range of hot dog sausages, turkey or chicken sausages and a poor excuse for something that claimed to be a sausage. I’m so happy that there is somewhere where I can get some decent British food. I’ll be heading there asap 🙂

  6. 6 Tiger July 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I’m sorry gals, although I don’t particularly eat sausages, in this country you get what you pay for, and if your buying precooked sausages from the freezer section of your supermarket, you will be dissapointed (a lot like thinking stouffer’s lasagna is akin to the real thing).

    I’m a brooklynite, so sausages mean italians and if you want some of the good kind go to an italian deli where they make them fresh. They’ll also smoke them on premise. I don’t happen to like fennel, and there are a few varieties that don’t have it.

    Given I’m also spanish, chorizo can also be found in those small corner spanish/mexican markets.

    Given I’m jewish, there is always chinese duck sausage in any one of the 3 chinatowns, little korea and little japon.

    My mom’s german, and you can find good bratwrust on the upper east side.

    Nope, no apple/pork except in those stupid packages. Avoid the stupid packages and you won’t be too dissapointed.


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