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Lincolnshire butchers battle to win Poacher prize

Kevan McAlpine of Frank Pepperdine & Son on Sincil Street, Lincoln

Butchers and bakers in Lincolnshire, home of the finest in the UK, will be battling it out to see who makes the best products in the county.

Taking place every other year, the Poacher competition has run since 1990 and looks for best butchers and bakers’ products in Lincolnshire.

The well-contested Lincolnshire Butcher of the Year title is currently held by W Hargrave & Son of Pinchbeck, but with hundreds of entries it could be difficult for them to keep their crown.

The event will be held on October 16 at the EPIC Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground, judged by a panel of experts and consumers.

There are 11 categories up for contention: gold, silver and bronze awards will be handed out for classic local delicacies as Lincolnshire sausage, stuffed chine, pork pie, plum bread and haslet. Other awards are for national dishes like bacon, steak pies, lamb burgers, speciality sausages.

There’s also and innovations section, looking at new ideas and vegetarian and non-meat pastry products.

Last year’s ideas include rabbit sausage, venison and cherry burger and Sydney Surprise. A new category added this year is for a gluten-free sausage.

The Lincolnshire Butcher of the Year trophy is based on points scored in the classes for traditional local products.

Winning items will be put on display at the annual Food and Drink Fair at the Lincolnshire Showground in November. Winners also receive a trophy.

Geoffrey Grantham, Patron of Lincolnshire County Food, which runs the event, said: “We know that Lincolnshire is one of the great food counties of Britain.

“We also know that our butchers and bakers very proud of our traditions, as well as being keen to introduce new products and innovative ideas, and we would urge everyone to encourage their local supplier to take part in this important competition.”

Butchers and bakers can submit an entry to the competition up until October 12. For entry information, contact Maureen Rhoden on 01400 230518 or Neil Curtis, Chairman of Lincolnshire County Food, on 01522 527212.

Photo: Maya Aresenovic for The Lincolnite