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Battle for New Zealand’s best bacon and ham begins

Battle for New Zealand’s best bacon and ham begins

Entries are now open for the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Competition and top butchers are encouraging their peers to enter.

From the tastiest rasher to the most succulent slice of ham, the Competition attracts butchers and retailers nationwide who put their craft to the test on Friday 18 July 2014.

The 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition celebrates New Zealand’s finest cured pork products and helps customers identify and appreciate homegrown, sustainable bacon and ham. It supports New Zealand’s pig farmers, who raise pork solely for the local market.

An independent panel of 33 judges - leading chefs, food connoisseurs and master butchers - will blind-taste each entry to select the best bacon and ham. Judging under international rules begins with a 100-point scale and focuses on all-important attributes of aroma, texture, appearance, saltiness, sweetness and overall tastiness.

There are five bacon categories, Middle, Dry Cured Middle, Shoulder, Streaky, Middle Eye and two ham categories, Bone-In-Ham and Boneless Ham. Last year the Competition attracted 202 entries from 56 businesses.

Last year’s 100% NZ Bacon of the Year Gold Medal win for Sam Nadason from Sam’s Butchery was a dream come true.

“I have been a butcher for 39 years, and never in my dreams did I think I would win something like this. Claiming a Gold medal for my Maple middle eye bacon has meant significant and ongoing sales. Not just for the winning bacon, but also our other products. It meant huge exposure for us, which is critical for success in a very competitive market,” said Mr Nadason.

Chris Beach of Cattermoles Butchery, who took home the supreme 100% NZ Ham of the Year 2013 for his sugar cured, bone-in ham also endorses the annual Competition.

“I thoroughly recommend entering this Competition. It’s had a huge impact on our business in terms of increased sales and publicity and it’s also given us the confidence and opportunity to try out new, innovative recipes,” said Mr Beach.

“The winning butchers really value the increased exposure and business opportunities that come from being a winner in the competition. They raise the standard of entry every year. These guys are the best of the best when it comes to making New Zealand’s favourite cured meats. So the competition is fierce to claim the top awards. This year we’re also excited to be putting out the call to producers for the 2015 competition to identify what additional categories should be added to the competition to reflect the increasing range of cured pork products available in New Zealand.” said Campbell Naish, Marketing Manager for NZPork.

Back for a third year, the Peoples’ Choice Award 2014 will give the public a chance to “TXT-to- vote” for their favourite bacon and ham making butcher using 100% NZ pork. Look for the Peoples’ Choice Award posters at your local butcher now. Previous winners were Waitaki Bacon and Holly Bacon.

Entries for the 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition close on 27 June 2014. For the first time, winners of the 100% NZ Bacon Competition and 100% NZ Ham Competition will be announced at a joint award ceremony in August.

For more information on 100% NZ Bacon, Ham and Pork go to


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