Friday, 29 July 2022 14:55

NZ's top bacon and ham announced

Written by  Staff Reporters
Warkworth Butchery took out the top bacon award. Warkworth Butchery took out the top bacon award.

Two butcheries have been announced as Supreme Winners in the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards.

Warkworth Butchery took out New Zealand’s top bacon award with their dry cured middle bacon entry while Auckland’s Westmere Butchery won New Zealand’s best ham award for their bone-in leg ham.

Warkworth Butchery has been part of the local community since 1905, with current owners Rob and Renee Lees taking over eight years ago.

Rob himself was named the winner of the 2020 Pure South Master Butcher of the Year Awards.

Westmere Butchery, also well-known and popular in their local community, with owner David Rossiter having more than 45 year in the butchery business and a team of passionate, experienced butchers working onsite.

Rob Lees, owner of Warkworth Butchery says he’s stoked with his win.

“Good meat comes from a good home and time well spent and consistency is key to producing amazing products.”

Glenn McKeendry, of Westmere Butcher in Auckland says “it was a team effort to produce an award winning ham – time, patience and the right amount of cure are the key ingredients, and that effort has paid off tonight!”

Judging too place over two days, with a team of butchers and culinary experts inspecting and sampling New Zealand’s finest bacon and ham products, all produced from 100% New Zealand born and raised pork.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each of the bacon and ham categories.

From here, all gold medal winners were re-judged against each other to then award the two Supreme Winners.

Competition judge Hannah Miller Childs says when choosing the winning ham it was largely about finding something with great smoky characteristics as well as good texture.

“You want it to be nice and meaty but still be moist and have enough fat content,” she says.

Westmere Butchery Ham FBTW

Westmere Butchery took out the best ham award.

The judges found picking the ham winner fairly easy as Westmere Butchery’s bone-in leg ham was “insanely delicious”.

In contrast to this the bacon was a very close competition, and the judges had to re-taste some of the products to ensure they picked the right one.

“It’s been an honour to be a part of the judging this year and incredible to see not only the quality of the beautiful New Zealand pork, but also the butchers’ talents improve over the years. This is definitely making our jobs a lot harder as judges,” says Miller Childs.

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