NEW ZEALAND’S TOP SAUSAGES ANNOUNCED

Supreme Champions Chris Nichol (2nd L) Dave Rossiter (centre) (004).JPG

New World Te Rapa, Hamilton and Westmere Butchery, Auckland have been announced as the Supreme Award winners for the 2018 Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition at an awards dinner in Auckland this evening. The judges couldn’t split Westmere Butchery’s beef and mushroom sausage and an Angus beef sausage from New World Te Rapa, instead crowning them joint winners of the Supreme Award in what is believed to be a first for the competition.

David Rossiter, owner of Westmere Butchery, has had over 45 years in the industry and it is fair to say his store has become a butchery institution in Auckland. He said of his victory: “It’s fantastic to win this award, it’s a dream come true, not just for me but for all the boys at the shop and every staff member. We’ll be celebrating for sure.”

Chris Nicol, who has worked in the industry for 25 years, heads up the butchery team at New World Te Rapa, said of his store’s win: “We have won a couple of awards in the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage competition but never taken the top spot before. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s come at a tough time for us, we’ve been short of staff and we’ve needed people to step up and they did. It makes me so proud of my team and to be part of the industry.”

Leading foodwriter and author, Kathy Paterson was tasked with the challenge of being Head Aesthetic Judge and was glowing in her assessment of the two Supreme Award winners as well as the general standard across the competition: “Throughout this year’s competition, the standard has been phenomenal. Flavours have been well thought through, the quality of the butchery has been impeccable and as a result it has created a really tough, but enjoyable, job for the judges.

“In the past we’ve always had a sausage that has stood outbut trying to find an outright Supreme Award winner this year was near on impossible. The panel of judges could make compelling cases for both winners and in the end we knew the fairest thing to do was crown them both.”   

The journey to Supreme status for the winning sausages has been a long and rigorous process. Over 480 entries from over 90 stores entered sausages into the 13 categories and were judged over a two-day snarler extravaganza last month by a squad of butchers, foodies, chefs and industry heavyweights.

From here, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each category with the gold medallists then being re-judged against one another, with Westmere Butchery and New World Te Rapa’s sausages coming out on top.

The announcement of New Zealand’s top tasting banger comes just in time for National Sausage Day tomorrow – Friday 19 October – as Kiwis across the country fire up their barbies for Labour Weekend.

The success for Westmere Butchery and its head honcho David Rossiter this evening came hot on the heels of being awarded the People’s Choice Award for the 2018 Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition achieving the rare feat of winning both titles.

The Devro New Zealand Wildcard winner was awarded to Peter Timbs Meats in Christchurch for producing the highest scoring sausage in a Devro casing, with their Hot Chorizo.

During the glamourous awards dinner, entrants and industry figures were treated to the inaugural Trans-Tasman Sausage Showdown which saw New Zealand come out on top.

The challenge was to turn 9kgs of beef trim into a delicious sausage mix, fill and then link the sausages as quickly as possible. Team New Zealand made up of Sharp Blacks captain Corey Winder and fellow team member Jeremy Garth operated like a well-oiled machine to stop the clock at a remarkable 6 minutes and 18 seconds to take out the title.

BLACK PUDDING – LIKE IT OR LOATH IT, IT’S HERE TO STAY

And so the month of sausages is upon us again!  From this week the entrants in the 2018 Devro Great NZ Sausage Competition will start sending us in their creations ahead of the upcoming judging days. 

With almost 500 entries to work through you can imagine this is no simple task.  This started a simple conversation around the lunchroom table with a few new staff who have yet to experience the wonder of sausage month and with it came the discussion that last years surprising winner was Akaroa Butchery’s Boudin Noir Black Pudding. Surprising in the sense that since the commencement of this competition, it seems that 2017 was the first year for the humble blood sausage to take out top honours and could it be, the reason for this is that this unique sausage appeals to people with a certain acquired taste? I was surprised to hear that both our new staff members had an absolute love for black pudding and would regularly add it to the fry up on a lazy Sunday morning.  From a wee bit of research (courtesy of Mr Google) I found out that black pudding is as old as the civilised world itself. 

Black pudding.PNG

For as long as we have been farming animals, we have been producing some form of black pudding, originally made for peasants and yet it still exists in modern day - this to me is a true example of how something has stood the test of time, in fact Id go so far as to say its making a comeback.  Many chefs are now adding it to their menus again and its not just a breakfast dish – many chefs are using it because they realise it brings richness to a dish and it’s now found in starters and main courses.  One source in the UK even went as far as claiming we should be adding it to the superfoods list as the product is often high in iron and protein and low in carbohydrates. And perhaps the true testament that black pudding is still very much on the menu is that British princes William and Harry asked for plenty of black pudding as a majestic hangover cure for the invited guests after Williams wedding and that is nearly 500 years after Henry V111 ensured that there was always masses of black pudding on hand for his lavish banquets.

So, like it or loath it, with a history like this, the blood sausage is not about to disappear from our shelves any time soon and is just another example of the resourcefulness of our butchers in being able to use many more parts of the beast and the continuing innovation that keeps retailers wanting to stock black pudding for those with discerning taste buds.

 

Sausages sizzles, effectively helping our communities one bite at a time.

Small, unassuming and simple - yet capable of getting entire youth football teams to international competitions. An oldie but a goodie, sausage sizzles are a tried and true method of fundraising and lucrative Saturday morning sausage sizzle spots outside hardware-stores are more popular than ever.

Last week, my daughter’s school raised over $900 towards their new playground, all in just a couple of hours and all through a simple sausage sizzle.

Sausage Sizzle

Why are they so popular, yet so effective?  Where do we begin!

  1. Easy! Not to mention cheap.  It’s a simple concept with minor logistics. You only need a few volunteers to man the station and this means you can run a roster system throughout the day – that’s if your stocks of sausages even last that long.  Many businesses also like to support their local community, so are often happy to donate product for a good cause.
  2. There’s never a bad time. You can run a sausage sizzle any time of the year, any time of the day, rain or shine.  I’m pretty sure it’s never too early for a sausage and many of those early bird DIY’ers can very rarely pass up a good snag as they make an early start at their local hardware store on the weekends.
  3. Temptation is everything.  The aroma of a good saussie with crispy onions just lures the punters in. Many could easily walk past a sandwich, a salad or even a confectionery stall but the smells of a sausage sizzle will tempt even those with the strongest of willpowers.
  4. It’s a meal on the go.  People don’t have to stop what they’re doing to eat a sausage in bread.  It doesn’t require a knife and fork or too many additions – it can be eaten whilst most continue to peruse the shelves or keep watching the footie game.

Charred snags with onion, wrapped inside a slice of bread with lashings of sauce … The modest sausage should be a first choice for your next community fundraisers and I’ll be first in the queue!

A sausage for all seasons

More often than not, we restrict our menus to suit the current season which includes selecting various type of meats for those seasonal dishes.  We default to casseroles using slow cooked cuts in winter, whilst summer often means steaks on the barbecue and more stir fries than usual. But take the humble sausage - which suits a whole multitude of dishes. We’d say, sausages are wanderers; happy to be part of a damn good meal at any time of the year, which is why sausages have to be our ultimate food for any season. 

 

Sausage Competition

Nothing beats bangers and mash on a cold winters’ night with lashings of gravy (or tomato sauce for the kids), it’s our idea of comfort food for the soul.  Alternatively, what could be better than spending a summer’s day at the beach and coming back home to throw a couple of sausies on the barbecue alongside a fresh green salad.  And furthermore, we know many kids (and adults!) that will willingly forego the salad for an extra sausage or two.  For many, the idea of sausages can conjure up fond childhood memories, and we are yet to meet a kid that will turn away a sausage, be it a delicious beef sausage, a cheerio, or the ultimate kid favourite – cheese in the centre. Which also got us thinking that as well as any season, there is a sausage for any meal of the day: a cosy Sunday breakfast, lunchtime barbecue after the footie or a flavour-packed casserole for dinner.  And who can honestly walk past a Saturday sausage sizzler fundraiser, without diving in – any time of the day.

 

We honestly cannot think of any other product that can possibly cover all these bases.  We think it just proves, anytime of the day, anytime of the year – have sausage, will eat!

THE HUNT IS ON … WHO’S MAKING NEW ZEALAND’S TASTIEST SAUSAGE?

Butchers across the country are fine tuning their best sausage recipes in the hopes of winning the Devro Great New Zealand Sausage Competition.

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 Kathy.

 
Sausage Competition Judge
 

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.

Top Sausage Supreme

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 Brendan.

 

 

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 by tasting the competitions top six sausages 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.

New Innovation Category

In addressing consumer demand, Retail Meat New Zealand have introduced an innovation category into the competition for 2018. This category aims to acknowledge diversity amongst consumer needs in an ever-changing environment.  Today’s savvy consumer is asking more questions and wanting a lot more from our smallgoods makers and many are stepping up to the challenge to meet these demands, whilst recognising that a product still has to taste good for people to make repeat purchases.  We are seeking out these new initiatives in the competition and we want to ensure that the public knows that the retail meat industry is keeping one step ahead of the game.  Watch this space!

 
Top Sausage Competition