22 Oct 2015

Sizzling start to National Sausage Day

2:00 pm on 22 October 2015

Tongs at the ready: our first National Sausage Day is off to a sizzling start, with the long-running Devro New Zealand Sausage Competition celebrating the very best of the country's bangers.

Chorizo sausage.

Photo: RNZ/Richard Scott

Competing for the top prize are about 400 sausages, from saveloys to 'continental fresh' - and even the everyday barbecue favourite "pre-cooked".

This year's winner for the nation's top sausage was an Alpine Pork sausage from a Countdown supermarket.

A panel of culinary trained chefs, butchers and food writers judged the sausages on visual appeal, aroma, flavour, texture, shrinkage and composition.

Peter Kendrick from Countdown said he was elated with the win and was looking forward to creating more product for consumers to enjoy over the summer months.

"We are very proud. This is the greatest achievement, we are ecstatic. I think winning has come down to keeping up the high quality that Countdown customers expect."

Head judge Kerry Tyack credited the 21-year-old contest with helping to improve sausage quality across the country - and said it was a wonderful way to celebrate the craft of those "passionate and knowledgeable about sausages."

"This is a competition that butchers love to enter because it gives them a strong indicator to what's on trend and what the consumer wants and is looking for," he said.

"At the same time, it gives them some critical feedback on their sausage-making technique and their success, or otherwise, at finding balance from a technical point of view.

"Butchers have taken on demands from consumers that said 'we want less overt fat' and they've lowered the salt content of sausages, and consequently the standards have improved enormously."

But what is the typical Kiwi banger?

"If I was to point to a flavour combination that we do typically very well here, it's the old lamb and mint," said Mr Tyack.

"I've never tried those elsewhere and my conversations with fellow judges suggest that, if we were to have a typical sausage, it would either be lamb and mint, or it would be something with seafood."