Butchers across the country are fine tuning their best sausage recipes in the hopes of winning the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition.
With entries now open, the search for New Zealand’s tastiest snarler begins with a panel of 32 judges, made up of foodies, butchers and industry experts, sampling and examining all competition entries over a two-day period. From here, the top thirteen sausages, one from each category, then go on to a final taste test where the Supreme Award sausage is determined.
Sausages are judged prior to cooking on their inner and outer visual appearance then once cooked, on appearance, aroma, texture, composition and taste.
Head judge, Kathy Paterson has been involved in the competition for the past five years and being an experienced food writer and recipe developer, she is well equipped for the role.
“The Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition gives consumers access to more variety, better choice and greater quality sausages at the same time as celebrating a Kiwi classic.
“At the judging table, we look for a good meat to fat ratio which must also be balanced with the appropriate mix of herbs and spices. We’ve seen extremely well-crafted sausages in this competition, sausages showing enticing aromas, great texture and interesting variances – I’m sure this year will be no different,” says Paterson.
Last year, the competition attracted 512 entries among twelve categories, these included; beef, pork, poultry, pre-cooked, flavoured, continental fresh, continental ready-to-eat, black pudding/rounds, traditional, gourmet beef, gourmet pork and gourmet varietal.
In addressing consumer demand, competition organisers, Retail Meat New Zealand, have introduced an innovation category which aims to acknowledge diversity amongst consumer needs in an ever-changing environment.
Last year, Brendan Foster from Akaroa Butchery & Deli took out the competition with his ‘Boudin Noir’ black pudding sausage.
“Winning this award has had a huge impact on our business. In the first few months we struggled to keep up with demand, and even now we’re producing much more than expected.”
“Just as exciting as the win itself was the discovery of black pudding enthusiasts across the country – we sent our Boudin Noir far and wide. This win was also a real thrill for our existing customers and the Akaroa community,” says Foster.
Entries into the 2018 competition close on Friday August 17. The winning sausage will be announced at an Awards Dinner on Thursday 18 October, in good time for Kiwis to celebrate National Sausage Day on Friday 19 October.
Members of the public are also invited to have their say on NZ’s tastiest sausage by tasting the competitions top six and voting for their favourite, at the People’s Choice Award tasting being held on Friday 12 October at Smales Farm Business Park in Auckland’s Takapuna.
The competition is sponsored by Devro, Kerry Ingredients, Kiwi Labels, Pure South, Alto Packaging and Big Chill.