On Wednesday 22nd February, butchers from across Hampshire gathered in Winchester to compete in the Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition. The annual contest was organised by not-for-profit local food group, Hampshire Fare, to celebrate the county’s talented butchers.
The competition attracted an impressive 201 entries from 38 butchers. Contestants entered their products into thirteen different categories including; Hampshire Sausage, Hot Pie, Traditional Pork Pie, Black Pudding, Meatballs and Faggots, Charcuterie, Young Sausage Maker and Speciality Pork Sausage.
The entries were carefully examined and assessed by a panel of professional judges who followed strict national guidelines. The judges examined external and internal appearance, texture, structure, colour, smell and taste.
Winners in each category were presented with a bespoke trophy crafted through the collaboration of three Hampshire companies: Board ‘n’ Bread; Southampton Trophies and Jon Barrett-Danes Ceramics. The title of Supreme Champion 2017 went to LJ Smith Butchers. Pip Smith said: “I am amazed by our win! Achieving this title reinforces our customers’ belief in what we do. It gives them confidence in our commitment to making the best products we can. We have been lucky enough to win this title before and it has helped bolster sales and also keep enthusiasm going in the shop.”
Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were presented to the most impressive entries with a Champion chosen in each category.
Richard Brown, professional judge of the Hot Eating Pie category was impressed by the standard of the entries: “We have judged some creative and interesting products today. The finish, baking and presentation have been very high.”
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, commented on the event, “Today’s event is all about recognising and celebrating the talented butchers we have across Hampshire. Shopping at your local butcher’s shop is an opportunity to learn and try new things as service often comes with knowledge and experience. National Butchers’ Week takes place next month, we urge consumers to visit their nearest butcher and see what they have to offer. And if you already know a great butcher vote for them in our People’s Choice award. Well done to everyone who entered today and thank you to all those who supported the event.”
Consumers across Hampshire are being invited to vote for their favourite butcher in Hampshire Fare’s ‘People’s Choice’ awards opening for nominations on 26 th February and closing on 12th March.
Visit www.hampshirefare.co.uk for details of how to vote for your butcher.