Just as we're dusting off our barbecues for summer, Aotearoa's top sausage suppliers have been crowned in annual Great New Zealand Sausage Competition.
Auckland favourite Grey Lynn Butchers (GLB) took out the Supreme Award with their Isterband sausage entry in a virtual awards ceremony on Tuesday.
According to organisers, judges were unanimous that the winning sausage had all the qualities they were looking for, including the best taste and texture.
GLB owners aunt and nephew team Lucia and Eddie Rodrigues are both self-taught butchers who together established their award-winning shop.
"We're really thrilled, we can't believe it," Lucia said after their win. "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."
Competition judge Kathy Paterson said the winning 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."
Christchurch stalwart Peter Timbs Meats also took out a top award, being crowned 'Producer of the Decemberde'.
"They have consistently produced high quality, medal-winning sausages over the last decade and have helped raise the standard of the competition," said event organiser Megan Claxton
The winning butchers faced stiff competition. A record-breaking 605 entries were received from 99 sausage producers across 17 categories this year.
Judging took place over five days by a squad of butchers, foodies, chefs and industry heavyweights.