Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie - Let Judging Commence
A panel of expert judges from across the UK gathered at Eastleigh College this week for The Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition 2020 organised by Hampshire Fare.
This year the popular and prestigious Competition attracted 254 entries from butchers and pie-makers countywide – an impressive 25% increase on last year!
All entries are submitted into one of 12 categories: Traditional Pork Sausage, Hampshire Sausage, Speciality Sausage, Beef and Lamb Sausage, Meatballs & Faggots, Traditional Pork Pie, Cold-eating Pie, Hot-eating Pie, Home-Cured Bacon, Charcuterie, Black Pudding and Young Sausage Maker. Entries undergo a rigorous judging procedure which takes place across two days. Professional judges, some partnered with guest judges, evaluate entries presented both cooked and uncooked, so that shrinkage and appearance can be fully assessed. Other judging criteria include filling, texture, taste and smell.
Chief Judge Claire Holland comments: “Competitions such as this are an invaluable way for butchers to access the expert opinion of experienced and knowledgeable people within the industry.”
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, adds: “Once again we’ve seen entries achieve a very high standard, but this year is particularly interesting as there have been some surprising entries and exciting results!
“With such a substantial increase in entries, it’s good to know that there is still so much affection for the good ol’ traditional sausage and pie! We have seen a particularly strong showing for Hot Eating Pies, and Hampshire, Speciality and Traditional sausages.”
One of the guest judges, Emily Palmer from Festival Place, Basingstoke, admitted that she hadn’t expected the Competition to be such fun. Another guest judge, Mathew Porter from NFU Mutual Winchester and Wickham, commented that he had learned loads and was impressed by the attention to detail.
Judge Stuart Ham, says: “One of the interesting changes over the time I’ve been judging are the more experimental flavours coming through – some more successful than others!”
Hospitality and Catering students from Eastleigh College worked hard preparing and serving entries under the guidance of tutor Greg Cheeseman, who explains: “Hosting the competition is a privilege for the Hospitality and Catering Department at Eastleigh College. It allows our students to see some amazing produce from across Hampshire. The students’ approach is very professional. In particular James, a Level 3 student who has volunteered for the past three years, showed the Level 2 students the processes and procedures we’ve put in place to ensure the event’s success. We are very proud of our students for giving up their time in half term to support Hampshire fare .”
Tracy finishes: “The Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition is nationally respected and has become an important fixture in the county’s food calendar. We are told by butchers and pie-makers that they value this Competition as it provides enormous benefits to those who enter, and helps to highlight the quality produce available at local butchers and farm shops, encouraging people to ‘shop local’.”
The winners of the Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition will be announced at an awards ceremony held on Thursday, 5th March, at Holiday Inn Winchester.
Hampshire Fare thanks the sponsors for their support; without them this highly regarded Competition would not be able to run. The sponsors include Angel Refrigeration, Dalziel, Lucas Ingredients, Mozzo, NFU Mutual Winchester and Wickham, Ringwood Brewery, Eastleigh College, Holiday Inn Winchester, Danebury Wine and New Forest Spring Water.