Grey Lynn Butchers in Auckland has taken out New Zealand’s top sausage award in The Great New Zealand Sausage Competition with their Isterband sausage entry.

The successful sausage was announced as the Supreme Award winner at a virtual awards ceremony, which was watched by industry big-hitters up and down the country.

The judges were unanimous that the winning sausage had all the qualities they were looking for including the best taste and texture to beat over 600 other entries and claim the top spot.

Owners of Grey Lynn Butchers, aunt and nephew team Lucia and Eddie Rodrigues are both self-taught butchers who have worked hard to establish their award-winning shop in central Auckland.

Lucia Rodrigues from Grey Lynn Butcher said of her winning sausage: “We’re really thrilled, we can’t believe it. We’ve been striving for gold for years and now not only do we have gold but we have won the Supreme Award as well. We were approached by Julian – the owner of Snö Café in Remuera – to make a traditional Swedish sausage called the Isterband. Eddie put our spin on the initial concept and developed the Swedilicious Istaband. We just can’t believe it, we shouted whoopee as soon as we heard the result.”

Despite the disruption of two lockdowns this year, Kiwi butchers have remained resilient and put their best snarlers forward culminating in a record-breaking 605 entries being received from 99 sausage producers across 17 categories. 

The journey to supreme status for the winning sausages has been a long and rigorous process with competition organisers adhering to strict Covid alert level restrictions. Five days of category judging last month by a squad of butchers, foodies, chefs and industry heavyweights, whittled entries down to the top scoring sausages.  From here, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each category with the gold medallists then being re-judged against one another, with Grey Lynn Butchers’ sausage coming out on top.

Competition judge, Kathy Paterson said the winning sausage, an Isterband was a unique, original entry which was technically very well made, making it stand out from the rest.

“The standard this year was very high and when you get a beautifully made sausage, with a lovely texture and the flavour of the meat coming through, you know you have a winner,” says Kathy.  “This was a really delicious sausage where everything was in harmony.”

This year, competition organisers, Retail Meat New Zealand also wanted to acknowledge all the sausage producers who have supported the competition over the last ten years and are delighted to announce Peter Timbs Meats in Christchurch as Producer of the Decade*.

“After collating results from the last ten years, we are delighted to recognise Peter Timbs Meats as the recipient of this new award,” says event organiser, Megan Claxton.  “They have consistently produced high quality, medal-winning sausages over the last decade and have helped raise the standard of the competition.”

Kiwis will also know where to get the best burger pattie this year, as a new mince category was introduced, which turned out six medal-winning burger patties from two categories.

The announcement of New Zealand’s top tasting bangers and burger patties comes just in time as Kiwi’s across the country dust off their barbeques in readiness for the summer months ahead.  There is nothing better than throwing some great tasting snags on the barbeque to share with friends and family. Now Kiwis know where to get their hands on some award-winning snarlers and patties to set their summer barbeques sizzling.

The full results along with images of gold medal-winning sausages, the judges and a short video profiling the journey of the competition are available here.

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