Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

For more information on the Cafes I have visited and the latest cafe cycle news go to http://www.cake-crusader.co.uk/

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Sausage roll of the year update. (#SROTY)

SROTY update
As we reach the quarter point of the year I decided to focus today's cafe cycle ride on Sausage Roll of the year (SROTY) and give an update on where things stand including my current 10 finalists. For the ride I returned to two previously reviewed cafes which people had recommended to me as places where I could expect to find excellent sausage rolls.

I was joined by cycling guests Mrs Crusader, Barry and Helen and their new tandem. Barry is a well renowned sausage roll expert so I was pleased to have him on board.

We set off on a 32 mile loop via Loddon and headed for the Gardeners Kitchen at Green Pastures garden Centre in Burgh Apton (see Puncture repairs for previous review). It came 22 miles into the route which caused my guests to repeatedly ask "are we were nearly there yet" once we had past half way mark.

On arrival, despite a strong wind, Barry and Helen insisted we sit in the outdoor seating patio area which had to be opened by the friendly staff especially for us. 
Waiting for Sausage rolls in a windy outdoor seating patio area
The sausage rolls looked excellent and were delivered to us nicely warmed. In fact they were so tempting that we had eaten them all before I remembered to take a photo. I'm sure you can imagine what a very big sausage roll looks like as I have published enough photos of them recently, including one later in this post.

It scored very highly with the only debate being around the flakiness of the pastry. I like it very flakey so gave a high pastry rating but Barry was not happy that his pastry crumbs kept blowing of his plate. I didn't deduct any marks as it was him who wanted us to sit out in a gale in the first place.

The SROTY score easily put it into my current list of finalist, although it's still early days so who knows if it will still be there by the end of the year.

From Burgh Apton it was only a short ride to collect some more sausage rolls from Little Pigs cafe (see Spooky for previous review) in greater Poringland. 
Collecting sausage rolls from the Little pigs
I took these ones home to test with Mrs Crusader as an afternoon snack. Again the recommendation I had been given proved to be a good one as they also went into my current top ten.
Little Pigs sausage rolls about to be warmed
I have included a quick reminder of the rules for SROTY through this informative set of frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the scoring criteria for a sausage roll?
A. I shall be using the internationally recognised sausage roll rating system which rates meat, pastry, roll aesthetics and overall taste. The first 3 categories are out of 10 with overall taste being out of 20 to give a total mark out of 50. If my cycling guests have a sausage roll too then I tell them that I take the average score between all of us (although in reality I just ignore them).

Q. Surely a sausage roll isn't cake so why has it been selected for 2017 thing of the year?
A. Although sausage rolls will never be part of any self respecting cafe cake quality rating system I have noticed that many of my cycling guests prefer them to cake so as an equal opportunity blog I felt I needed to recognise this as part of my diversity programme. Although I will still insist on having a cake, scone or traybake at every cafe review I undertake.   

Q. Do vegetarian sausage rolls count?
A. Although several of my cycling guest are vegetarian and the Cake Crusader is an equal opportunity blog, with a diversity programme, there is a limit. So no.

Q. How does a sausage roll qualify for the competition? Can it only be from a cafe you are reviewing that day?
A. No. Any sausage roll bought from a cafe or tearoom will qualify but I must cycle there to pick it up. I don't have to stop for a cake or hot drink if I have previously reviewed the establishment. I plan to do some rides to take in several cafes to pick up a clutch of highly recommended sausage rolls. I will be testing some live at the cafes and some back in my secret underground bicycle workshop at Crusader Towers.

Q. Do all sausage rolls need to be eaten warm?
A. No although I will always go for warmed if offered and may warm them up if I take them back for testing, it is not compulsory.

Q. Are accompaniments such as pickle, chutney or mustard taken into account in the scoring.

Q. How will the winning sausage roll be decided?

A. Over the year the sausage roll's score will be added to my Sausage Roll of the Year mobile spreadsheet. Then in December 2017 I will revisit the cafes (by bike of course) that provided the best 10 sausage rolls and purchase some more. I will then hold two semi finals before the final sausage roll off to decide the winner.

Q. Is it the maker of the sausage roll or the cafe that sold it who will win the prize?
A. I am only interested in cafes so if you want to start awarding manufacturers prizes I suggest you start your own butchers based blog.

Q. What is the prize?
A. The winner will receive one of my coveted home made cake crusaders winner certificates which they can put on display (or in the bin) forever. 

So far this year I have had checked out 20 Sausage rolls for SROTY but I hope to get through about 100 before holding the Sausage roll off finals. The current leading ten cafes (in no particular order) are:

1. Little Pigs, Poringland
2. Gardeners Kitchen, Burgh Apton
3. Goodies, Pulham Market
4. Cley visitors centre, Cley
5. Itteringham community shop and cafe, Itteringham
6. Wymondham Garden centre, Wymondham
7. Byfords, Holt
8. Horatio's, Holt
9. East Hills Cafe, Brundall
10. Rocket Cafe, Cromer

I will give my next update mid year.

Todays route

Click here to download Loddon - Norwich loop GPX file to load on to your GPS

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