“He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart” wrote C. S. Lewis. I tend to agree – no looking (well not for long) just good eating. I love ham – Australian ham that is. For that matter, I love Australian pork, but add the curing and smoking and all the razzamatazz that makes good quality pork into good quality ham and bacon, and the heart (and stomach) of this girl is won.
Nearly $10 million worth ($9.1m) of imported pork arrives in Australia every week. This equates to over 2.7 million kilos of pork imports arriving by boat in Australia EVERY WEEK or the equivalent of about 52,000 pigs. Some 65–70 per cent of the smallgoods consumed in Australia is made from imported pork from countries that have some diseases that the Australian herd does not.These countries heavily subsidise their agricultural industries.
You’d prefer to buy Australian grown food if you could, wouldn’t you? Consumer research has shown that 95 per cent of Australians agree, but the existing vague country of origin labelling regulations in Australia makes it difficult for consumers to do this.
You don’t have to be confused. It’s easy with the hot pink PorkMark label to know you’re buying Australian. The hot pink Australian PorkMark logo is a guarantee that the ham displaying this logo is made with 100 per cent Australian home-grown pork.
This week, 21st to 28th October is Australian Ham Week. And as part of the annual porcine celebration a competition was launched to find Australia’s best ham for 2012. This year 146 entries were received from ham producers around the country using 100 per cent Australian pork.
Open to all butchers and smallgoods processors that make their ham from Australian grown pork, the entries for Australian PorkMark Ham Awards for Excellence are judged against key criteria which included appearance, texture, aroma and most importantly taste. The official announcement of the winners was made at a breakfast function this morning at FourFourteen restaurant in Sydney. The overall winner was selected as the highest scoring ham in the overall competition.
Overall Winner and Best Australian Ham
John Bartlett: Wattle City Meats, Maryborough Vic 03 5460 4637
Traditional Bone-in Leg
1st John Bartlett: Wattle City Meats, Maryborough Vic 03 5460 4637
2nd Andrew Vourvahakis: Andrew’s Choice Smokehouse, Laverton Nth Vic 03 8360 8688
3rd Cameron Fenson: Meatways Butchery, Kambah ACT 02 6231 7258
1st Andrew Vourvahakis: Andrew’s Choice Smokehouse, Laverton Nth Vic 03 8360 8688
2nd John Bartlett: Wattle City Meats, Maryborough Vic 03 5460 4637
3rd Richard Deignan: Black Forest Smokehouse, Marrickville NSW 02 9516 3210