LA CHILANGA BANDA
In much the same way that a taco de pastor simply does not taste as wonderful outside of Mexico, it is a hard task for the humble British Banger to reach the same soaring heights of culinary glory far away from England’s green fields. The heavy clod of pineapple-topped animal flesh we call pastor is something spectacular if cared for by the hands of a professional. And this is equally true for the sausage. While Mexico and Great Britain may not be able to lay claim to being the original birthplace of their respective meaty triumphs, like the Brazilians and soccer; they just do it better.
Step up Ryan Paine and his Mexico City-based company, Simply Sausages. Ryan, a long-time food enthusiast and skilled cook, has, for over two years, been bringing sausagey goodness to the streets of this fair city.
As a British native working at the family business on the outskirts of London, Ryan found himself wanting a change. “I was in a bit of a rut and wanted to get away. I had the idea of training to become a professional dive instructor and training on the island of Utila, Honduras.”
Ryan passed the preliminary course, one step below the professional diving instructor license, but decided that the job wouldn’t be something he wanted to do as a long-term job. Upon joining up with a school friend in Mexico City, he landed a job and decided to make the place his home. This was seven-and-a-half years ago.
After meeting and marrying his wife, Ryan went through a number of jobs, including a home-delivery curry service, Curry Up!, before turning his hand to the sweet science of sausage making.
Mexican meats have a character of their own, Ryan believes. He praises the quality of meat in Northern Mexico, where his wife’s family hails from, as being particularly tender and succulent. “The first time I tasted taco pastor I was hooked, I fell in love,” said Ryan, but he still hankered after a taste of home.
For over two years now, Simply Sausages has been supplying their produce for homes and businesses around town and now make over two tons of sausages for more than 50 restaurants, bars, and food trucks across Mexico City and the country. Many recognized eateries like Pinche Gringo, WurstwagenMX, and Brit Majal source their sausages from Ryan. The varieties of sausages he offers are many and ever changing, though particular customer favorites are the Bratwurst, Banger, and a sausage popular with the French community, the Merguez.
Though the Simply Sausages team is a small one, only Ryan and a father and son, all local deliveries are made by bike. The ingredients are all natural and of the highest-quality, a important point for Ryan. “The ingredients in our sausages are between 90 and 97 percent meat, the rest are herbs and spices. There are no preservatives or chemicals. The sausage casings are natural we only use shoulder meat — the most tender of the animal.”
And for the all important sausage-cooking quandary of fast fry versus slow and steady? “Lentamente,” is Ryan’s advice.