Dunfermline Athletic


Tuesday, 3rd Nov 2009

Scotland’s butchers are hoping that the Lorne Sausage can be the next truly Scottish food to gain the status of Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI). This would raise one of the nation’s favourite foods to the same status as Arbroath Smokies, Parma Ham and Melton Mowbray pies.

There is little doubt that the square sausage given the name Lorne after a famous West of Scotland comedian, has a cult following and is high on the list of products sorely missed by ex pats.

There have been incidences of Lorne Sausage being confiscated at customs when Scots have tried to take the tasty blocks into countries like Canada, USA and Australia

In June 2006 the actor Alex Norton, star of Taggart (DCI Matt Burke) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man`s Chest (Captain Bellamy) was stopped by security guards at Glasgow Airport who mistook his kilogram of Lorne Sausage for the high explosive Semtex!

He was on his way to London and taking the square sausage slab to blow up the tummy of his Scottish friend who wanted a taste of Scotland for his breakfast!

It was thought that the Lorne Sausage, which also goes by the names of square sausage or sausage slice, was an invention of the Scottish comedian Tommy Lorne who lived from 1890 and died in 1935.

Tommy Lorne because of his famous catchphrase was "sausages are the boys" - he loved his sausages!

He often ate a sausage sandwich between his acts. It has even been suggested that not only were Lorne Sausages named after Tommy Lorne and to give people an easy to make sausage sandwich, but that Tommy Lorne was the inventor of the Lorne Sausage.

All this would have been a nice romantic idea but there is evidence of Lorne Sausage long before Tommy Lorne rose to fame. The Arbroath Herald of February 1896 carries an advert for High Street butcher, Alexander Blair & Co. offering Lorne Sausage at 6d per lb.

Whoever did come up with the original recipe for Lorne Sausage is owed a debt of gratitude to many Scots. The shape and size is perfect to fit between two slices of bread to make the perfect sausage piece.

News of the push for elevation to PGI status comes appropriately in British Sausage Week and Chief Executive of Scotland’s Craft Butchers, Douglas Scott said:-

"The Lorne Sausage is as Scottish a product as you get and it would seem a threat in this global era if we weren’t to apply for a PGI. Lorne is an important part of every Scottish butchers sausage trade with customers sometimes travelling many miles to source their favourite. We will work on the application and hope to get the backing of Quality Meat Scotland and the Scottish Government in taking the square slice to Brussels.”

PGI status would not prevent butchers making square sliced sausage but to be called Lorne they would have to be made in Scotland to an agreed, not necessarily all the same, recipe.


Tommy Lorne was born in Kirkintilloch near Glasgow
His birth name was Hugh Gallagher Corcoran. Tommy Lorne performed in many Scottish theatres and often performed in Glasgow and Edinburgh and was much in demand for pantomime. In his own acts he would apply white make-up and wear a short kilt, a glengarry, boots that were far too big for him and a jacket that was short. He spoke in a hilarious high pitched voice.

Tommy Lorne was famed for several catchphrases such as "In the name of the wee man" and "Ah`ll get ye", and "If Ah don`t get you the coos`ll get ye!"

The Firth Of Lorne

A common misconception (although contested as such by those around Oban) is that the Lorne Sausage comes from the area of the Firth of Lorne . The Firth of Lorne can be found in the West Coast of Scotland at Argyll and Bute. This 25km large body of water lies between the Isle of Mull and the Isles of Kerrera, Seil and Luing (the Slate Islands). It is as wide as 10km in parts.

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