Auckland takes one-two at ham awards
The judges have pigged out and the results are in.
The 100 per cent New Zealand Ham of the Year awards have been announced and a couple of Auckland butchers were a cut above their competition.
Greenlane's Nosh Food Market snaffled the sliced ham prize for its Black Rock Butchery free-farmed, Manuka smoked, honey cured ham.
And Dave Rossiter of Westmere Butchery was judged on equal footing with Christchurch butcher Chris Brown in the ham leg category, to make it an Auckland one-two overall.
Picking a "grand final" winner was a curly one but according to chef and head judge Graham Hawkes, Nosh's entry provided a little more grunt in the blind-tasting.
"First impressions definitely counted, it was wow at first bite," he said.
"The texture was perfect and it left a moist taste that lingered in your mouth."
With less than 10 weeks until Christmas, the ham buying season has officially begun and Hawkes said this year families may not need to sharpen a knife, with ham slices coming out top with taste buds.
"It was a surprise that pressed ham beat out ham on the bone, but interestingly the sliced ham won because it excelled in all the elements we were looking for," Hawkes said.
There were 54 entrants who submitted 74 ham entries in this year's competition, with each entry being ranked on texture, aroma, taste and all-important colour.
100% New Zealand Bone-In (ham leg)
Gold Dave Rossiter of Westmere Butchery, Westmere, Auckland
Gold Chris Brown of Ellesmere Butchery, Ellesmere, Canterbury
Silver Colin Horton of Independent Meat Processors, Hornby, Canterbury
Silver Chris Beach of Cattermoles Butchery, Kaiapoi, Canterbury
Silver Corey Winder of Ashby's Fine Meats and Deli, Christchurch
Silver Helen and Ben Clotworthy of Pokeno Bacon, Pokeno, Auckland
Silver Bryan Harris of Harris Meats, Cheviot, Canterbury
100% New Zealand Boneless (sliced ham)
Gold Clinton Beuvink of Nosh Food Market, Greenlane, Auckland
Silver Lindsay Alderson of Wakefield Butchery, Wakefield, Nelson
Silver Brydon Heller of Hellers Limited, Kaiapoi, Canterbury