The 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Competition is now well under way with an acclaimed panel of judges ready to select the best this Friday 13 July.
Over the past few weeks, 54 dedicated entrants have been toiling away to craft their winning cuts of bacon and ham.
Their expertise is going to make it tough work for judges, who'll have 158 bacon and 74 ham entries to get through.
NZPork CEO Owen Symmans says, "The number of entries is similar to last year, with some new faces to the competition, confirming the spreading popularity of this annual event."
2011's Bacon Of The Year winner Ashby's Butchery, and Ham Of The Year Cashmere Cuisine - both from Christchurch - are back in this year to defend their titles. In fact the Garden City seems to be dominating the competition already, with a total of 13 businesses fighting for top honours.
This year's judging panel, led by the President of the New Zealand Chefs Association, Anita Sarginson, consists of food writers, famous chefs and industry experts.
Campbell Naish, NZPork Marketing Manager says the industry support for the event has been fantastic, with NZITO, Apple Tree Farms, Kerry Ingredients, Five Star Pork, and Sherratt Ingredients all sponsoring this year's competition to support outstanding NZ butchers and food producers.
The 100% NZ Bacon & Ham Competition was established to celebrate New Zealand's finest cured pork products and to help consumers identify and appreciate local, sustainable bacon and ham, and support NZ pork producers.
While the judging is set to take place this Friday, the 100% NZ Bacon of the Year and Gold, Silver and Bronze bacon medallists will be formally announced at an Auckland event on 23 July and the 100% NZ Ham of the Year in late October.
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