Smallfield butchers wins string of gold medals
A BUTCHER'S shop has scooped six gold medals for its six speciality sausages in a regional competition.
James Harris & Son won gold medals for all the sausages it entered in the South England British Pork Executive Regional Roadshow.
Shop owner Tony Harris and his team enter the competition every year, but this was their best result.
"We enter every year and it's got to be homemade pork products – bacon, pork pies, and sausages from independent butchers and farm shops," Mr Harris said.
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"Last year we had ten entries, including two pies which got gold, but all the eight sausages only got silver."
Each item is graded across a range of criteria by the judges and the gold medal is awarded to products which score a 96 or above out of 100.
The winning entries for James Harris & Son this year were pork with banana and monkey nuts, plain pork, small-filled special, a mid-summer sizzler, pork with cracked pepper, and pork with ginger and spring onion.
The latter received the highest points of all the shop's sausages with a score of 98.
Mr Harris started the business, located at The Parade in Redehall Road, Smallfield, 13 years ago with his father James who also contributed a sausage to the team's collective entry.
Other team members include Mark Stevens, Stephen Bradshaw and Ben Ashby, the youngest of the group, who each submitted one sausage to compete, with owner Tony Harris submitting two.
"Ben entered the young sausage competition and it's the last year he could enter in the category and he won, which is fantastic," Mr Harris said.
The competition, which took place at the South of England Showgrounds in West Sussex on March 21, has generated interest from the public, which Mr Harris believes will boost sales.
He said: "We get a lot of customers come in and comment on the certificates and ask how we're doing in the competition.
"We do different sausages throughout the year and with the barbecue season coming on they're very popular at the moment.
"They're very meticulous with the judging, they check them for everything from how the sausage is filled to the quality of the produce."
Around 260 entrants put forth a range of products for the competition which promotes pork across the UK.
Mr Harris said his shop offered a range of pork products, and changed their variety of sausages every week, allowing customers to sample a range.