A tasty tiki tour for tourists to celebrate National Lamb Day

Marty and the Giant Lamb Chop
Marty and the Giant Lamb Chop.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc (B+LNZ) has commissioned a giant lamb chop to celebrate National Lamb Day – which takes place on Thursday 24 May.

The giant chop set off this morning from Beef + Lamb HQ in Auckland on the maiden voyage of the ‘Lamb and Three Veg Tiki Tour’ which will go via some of the ‘tastier’ attractions across Aotearoa. Starting at the giant kumara in Dargaville, the chop will pioneer a new tour route for tourists to follow, travelling via the iconic L&P bottle in Paeroa, the big carrot in Ohakune and onto the Wattie’s Pea Factory in Christchurch.

Marty Shanahan, aka The Backyard Cook, will be the captain of the Lamb Rover Defender tasked with towing the colossal chop.

“When Beef + Lamb approached me and asked if I could drive a giant lamb chop across the country I thought they were trying to pull the wool over my eyes – this is surely a recipe for disaster.

“But ewe have to admire the workmansheep that’s gone into making the chop, I feel a bit sheepish for doubting them now.”

Interestingly, it is not the first time New Zealand lamb has been part of a ground-breaking voyage. Rewind back to 1882 when the SS Dunedin, loaded with the first shipment of frozen lamb, set sail from Port Chalmers heading for London. The date of National Lamb Day (now in its fifth year) coincides with the 136th anniversary of when the Dunedin arrived into London. That journey sparked an export industry that is now worth in excess of $8 billion a year to the Kiwi economy.

Rod Slater is chief executive of B+LNZ Inc and well-known in New Zealand’s flourishing red meat scene.

“Kiwis might not know it, but New Zealand is a little bit famous for the lamb we produce, we’re sort of known for it. When you buy Quality Mark lamb from supermarkets and butchers – or order it at your favourite restaurant – you are eating something really special. It’s internationally renowned, produced in our unique environment and meets standards that guarantees tender results.

“So, we thought it’s probably about time we did something massive to celebrate this mighty meat, aye?”

To keep up to date with the chop’s whereabouts in the run up to National Lamb Day, head to the Beef + Lamb Facebook and Instagram pages or recipes.co.nz for more information.

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