A pork producer from the south Wales valleys is set to go forward to a ‘Champion of Champions’ competition after its pork sausages were named the best in Wales by an expert panel of judges.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural competition, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) held the second edition of its Wales-wide Porc.Wales ‘Put Your Best Sausage Forward’ contest at this year’s Royal Welsh Show.
The entries were whittled down to ten finalists, with all the sausages being cooked by barbecue guru Chris Roberts and evaluated by a panel of judges which included Wales and Lions rugby star Scott Quinnell.
The close competition saw a garlic and chilli sausage, made by the Hayward family from ‘Puff Pigs’ at Pentwyn Uchaf Farm, located between Ynysybwl and Mountain Ash, crowned the winner.
As champions of the Welsh competition, Puff Pigs’ winning sausage is now eligible to compete in the Champion of Champions contest at the 2019 Butcher Shop of the Year awards in London, a prize which was won last year by north Wales pork experts Oinc Oink.
Wayne Hayward of Puff Pigs said: "We're delighted and humbled to win the ‘Put Your Best Sausage Forward’ competition. As a small-scale producer we didn't consider entering initially but were encouraged to do so by the feedback we received from customers, friends and family.
“We hope this award will highlight the benefits of the traditional pig breeds and specifically, in our case, the British Saddleback. We're passionate about the survival of the rare-breeds and the traceability of our produce as a result of using pure-bred, pedigree stock. The taste and texture of outdoor-reared, slow-grown pork is unrivalled in our opinion and, we believe, gives us a huge advantage when producing sausages."
HCC’s Market Development Officer Kirstie Jones said: “Since we started the ‘Put Your Best Sausage Forward’ competition to showcase the outstanding pork produced by members of our Porc.Wales promotional platform, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. The number and quality of entries this year surpassed our expectations.
“Scott Quinnell and the other judges were wowed by the spicy flavours of Puff Pigs’ entry, and enjoyed sampling the variety of sausages put forward by Welsh producers.
“All the entries were also true to the ethos of Porc.Wales - dedicated specialist producers rearing pigs in small herds, often using rare breeds, with a commitment to high welfare and high quality.”