TOP SAUSAGE: Tastes just like democracy
THE humble democracy sausage has been around for generations and rumours of tomato sauce stains on the Australian Constitution have never really gone away.
So it is with great pleasure we bring you a review of democracy sausages that have been served across the Clarence Valley
First stop was the chefs at Grafton High polling station, who were busily working their magic on the hot plate as I took my position in the queue.
It was clear the outfit had a no-nonsense style, focusing solely on the sausage and had not gone with with an adjoining cake stall which can sometimes detract from the dining experience.
They had a large array of condiments in the sense they had many bottles of either tomato or barbecue sauce and although I felt slightly deflated, they did offer to go and get some for me.
Using classic thin style sausages, the group dished up a sandwich that instantly took me back to a simpler time, a time where Nationals and Greens, with a sausage sandwich in hand, would sit back and talk about changing the world together.
I was taken on a quick tour of the facilities and was shocked by the effort put in to creating the smooth aesthetic, the colourful tablecloth contrasting with the rigid uniformity of their jet black aprons.
Sausage Sandwich: 8/10, Condiments: 5/10, Service: 10/10, X-Factor: 7/10
Next up it was the South Grafton Public School's turn to dish up an enchanting handful of mystery meat, and just like our politicians, they didn't disappoint.
A cake stall adorned with treats Willy Wonka would have been proud of gave the place a bit of flair and I was even offered a treat bag of goodies to take home.
Only the two classic condiments were on hand and the school went with the traditional bread, sausage and onion combination that has served Australia well since federation.
There was a lot more of a community vibe happening here, with some patrons declaring their sausages "brilliant" and "cooked" and I couldn't wait to get into it.
Sandwich number two was more of a slow burner, at first it hit you with that classic sausage punch but the more I chewed, the more it hit me; the flavours, the textures, the optics.
A true masterpiece that even Bill Shorten would have bitten into.
Sausage Sandwich: 8/10, Condiments: 5/10, Service: 9/10, X-Factor - 10/10
Maclean Public School were on the last rungs of their democracy sausage delivery, but they still enthusiastically spruiked their product - service with a smile they assured us.
With their most busy time was around the lunch rush, the P&C members assembled not just one, but four different sandwiches to either devour, or use as photo props.
The closest to camera won, and the sausage was good in flavour, but dominated by the sweet onions and a good hit of tomato sauce.
With money going towards shade sails for the kids, with the temperature nearing boiling point, it was a sausage definitely going towards a good cause.
Sausage Sandwich: 7/10, Condiments: 5/10, Service: 10/10, X-Factor - 7/10
While it was getting late in the day, the good folk at Palmers Island Public saved their last sausage sandwich for the reviewer, and it was worth weight.
Also with proceeds going to a new learning area and playground equipment, nothing was too much trouble for the friendly purveyors of democratic beef.
The sausage was a standout, just the right amount of char, just the right amount of onion, and I suspect hot from the barbecue could've been an outright winner.
Add that to the specially contained sweet treats, and even succulent plants on offer and it was a big effort from the small school.
Sausage Sandwich: 9/10, Condiments: 8/10, Service: 10/10, X-Factor - 8/10
Last but not least were the artisans at St Josephs Primary in South Grafton, creating bespoke sausage sandwiches for many a voter and who claimed that their sausages were "the best this side of the Clarence".
Despite feeling like I had just eaten two sausage sandwiches I soldiered on, and in no time I was holding yet another fine example of meat-log magic.
This time I could taste the democracy with every bite, Labor, Liberal, One Nation, they were all there, it was like a parliament in my mouth and everyone was invited.
They too had set up a small cupcake stall to raise money for resources for the school, so it was nice to get some insight into Gonski 3.0 in action.
Sausage Sandwich: 9/10, Condiments: 5/10, Service: 9/10, X-Factor: 8/10
All in all it was a wonderful effort by all the schools and commend them for the work they have done in the name of democracy.
It was a close one, but given the volume served congratulations goes to South Grafton Public who officially have the best democracy sausage, with Palmers Island just losing out on preferences.
We look forward to the federal election so one school might make my personal favourite, the Tony Abbott special, which was just raw onion on bread.