Waikato butchers recognised at 100%
New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards
Cured, smoked middle bacon and popularity with the people provided two Waikato victories in the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards. Photo Credit: Hartemink | Dreamstime
Waikato companies have brought home the bacon – and ham – awards in a national competition.Kihikihi’s The Meat Factory Limited struck gold for middle bacon,
while Whitianga butchery Mercury Bay Meats got people’s choice in the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Awards.
There were 197 entries from 50 entrants in the 2015 competition and they went before 33 judges.
They covered five bacon categories – middle, dry cured middle, shoulder, streaky, middle eye – and two ham categories: bone-in-ham and boneless ham.
A “true to style” middle bacon got a gold medal for The Meat Factory Limited.
Husband and wife team Deane and Tania Pitcon’s honey-cured, Manuka-smoked entry had a “nice sweet taste”, according to judges.
Deane Pitcon said he was initially reluctant to enter but ended up doing as Tania said.
Their meat is sourced from local pork producer Warratah Farms.
“You need a top product to achieve a good finished product and that’s what we get from Warratah,” he said.
The People’s Choice Award went to Whitianga Butchery Mercury Bay Meats, which has also had honours in the past.
Owners Nigel Jackson and Cole Edinger were delighted with the win.
“The locals love our bacon and ham so to see this support evident in the People’s Choice Award is fantastic,” Jackson said.
Mercury Bay local Josh Thompson was a regular, and praised the team and their range of products, saying they had “some of the best bacon I’ve had”.
Christchurch’s Cashmere Cuisine won Bacon of the Year and Auckland’s Westmere Butchery took out Ham of the Year winners with honey cured maple bone in ham.
NZ Pork Chairman Ian Carter said awards celebrated New Zealand Pork’s farm to plate story.
“It is great to be able to feature the best of 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham for the eighth year running.”
- Based on an article by STUFF (www.waikatotimes.co.nz 02/9/15)