Not since the Revolutionary War has the UK suffered such an emasculating loss. On Sunday The Guardian reported on a deeply troubling trend in this noble island nation -- British bangers are rapidly losing inches.
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According to research from the British pork trade organization BPEX, many supermarket packages of British sausages have decreased in weight from 450 grams to 400 grams. The Guardian notes that this is an 11% reduction, resulting in the loss of approximately one bite per banger.
Perhaps proving once and for all that size doesn't matter, this shrinkage has been simultaneous with a 5.2% surge in UK sales of sausage and other charcuterie, a trend thought to be driven by a recession related clamor for inexpensive comfort foods. In the first six months of 2010, Britons spent £653 million on sausage, as a nation consuming 5 million dogs a day.
In an ironic turn, reports of the banger shrinkage came on the heels of cheerier news for British eaters. Sunday's Guardian also reported that Seattle based company J&D Foods has developed Malt Salt, a dry alternative to malt vinegar, aiming to solve the decades old conundrum, "How do you sprinkle vinegar on your chips without making them too wet?"
And so for the Brits the loss of sausage self-esteem comes with a boost in fry pride -- their bangers may be small, but at least their chips aren't limp.