Boonah butcher hopes to sizzle at Australian Pork national bacon awards

YUM: Judges are searching for the best Aussie bacon in time for International Bacon Day. Photo: supplied
YUM: Judges are searching for the best Aussie bacon in time for International Bacon Day. Photo: supplied

BOONAH butcher Gary Middlebrook from Elite Meats has tossed his hat in the ring for this year's Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards.

Mr Middlebrook, who has entered the contest in both full rasher and short cut categories, said he was confident the Scenic Rim bacon would hold its own against other products.

"I would never say I have the best product, there's always someone doing better, but I can say we have a good, honest product made from quality pork," he said.

"We are a traditional artisan butchers using old-school methods. The competition is national as well as state so it would be great to be recognised even in Queensland."

Australian Pork said the judging had already begun, assessing each entry based on appearance, aroma, and lean-to-fat ratio in both raw and cooked forms.

They said the judging panel, made up of bacon connoisseurs Fleischmeister Horst Schurger with chefs Simon Bestley, Adam Moore and Paul McDonald, would announce the winners on August 26, in time for International Bacon Day on August 31.

Australian Pork Limited's Peter Haydon said the competition would shine a light on smallgoods makers who used 100 per cent Australian pork to produce bacon.

"Many people are surprised to learn that 80 per cent of bacon sold in Australia is made using imported pork," he said.

"If you want to support Australian pig farmers, look for the pink Australian Pork logo on the pack or look for the green and gold country of origin label and make sure the bar chart is almost full."

The winner of last year's Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards, Superior Meats' Rhett Campbell, said the contest clebrated the best Aussie produce and an iconic ingredient.

"I know I'm not alone in saying that it's not a successful Sunday morning if bacon and eggs don't feature on the menu," he said.