Food and Wine
June 27, 2017 4:00 pm
Trader Joe's

Brits took to Twitter recently to express their outrage over Trader Joe’s new “Puff Dog,” product – which, to them, looks suspiciously like a snack they’ve been eating across the pond for centuries: the sausage roll.

On their website, Trader Joe’s writes, “This marriage of beefy and buttery is pretty genius,” with no mention of the product having any Anglo origins. Meanwhile, the U.K. bakery chain Greggs sells 2.5 million of them every week to hungry Brits according to the BBC, making it one of the country’s signature snacks.

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The Trader Joe’s version of the snack is made with beef wrapped in puff pastry, while the British version is made with pork, but annoyed Brits couldn’t believe their American cousins had the nerve to take credit for a food they’ve been eating for ages. Neither item should be confused with pigs in a blanket, which are hot dogs are wrapped in croissant or biscuit dough, not puff pastry. In the U.K., pigs in a blanket are sausages wrapped in bacon.

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The British probably don’t deserve all the credit: There are examples of recipes for meat wrapped in pastry dating all the way back to the ancient Greek and Romans. However, the modern version of the sausage roll probably became popular in London in the late 19th century; one of the first recipes for the snack appeared in a 1875 cook book, which recommended they be served at picnics.

Regardless of who truly invented the sausage roll, it’s clear that the British are very defensive of their ancestral snack foods (or maybe they just like giving Americans a hard time), but credit should be given where credit is due: What TJs called a “genius” summer snack has been wildly popular in the U.K. since at the least the 1800s.

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Still, that shouldn’t stop us Americans from enjoying our own version from Trader Joe’s this summer.

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