The tastiest rasher of bacon in the country is made in Christchurch, according to the results of a national competition announced today.
Ellesmere Butchery’s sugar-cured middle bacon has been named Bacon of Year in this year’s 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Competition, beating 53 other butcheries for the top title.
“You could tell there had been a lot of love and care applied to it, it really had that personal touch to it,” says head judge, Anita Sarginson.
This is the fifth year in a row a Canterbury butcher has won the supreme award, and Ellesmere Butchery’s Chris Brown puts his success this year down to taking the time to produce the perfect slice of bacon.
“It’s a long process, you can’t rush it. You have to let all the flavours all draw in,” he says.
“You don’t want bacon to go and stew, you want to draw as much moisture out as possible. Then we smoke it the traditional way.”
There are five bacon categories in this competition, middle, dry-cured middle, shoulder, streaky and middle-eye. This year, category winners included Franklin Country Meats (gold in shoulder bacon), Avons Butchery Ltd (gold in streaky bacon), Sam’s Butchery (gold in middle-eye bacon), Euro Deli Meats (gold in dry-cured bacon) and Ellesmere Butchery taking out the competition with the sugar-cured middle bacon.
The judging panel was made up of 33 industry experts, food writers and chefs.