Far from the scene of a relaxed afternoon barbecue familiar to every Aussie, the Sausage King competition saw more than 60 butchers put their skills to work to see who could snag the title of 'best sausage in the Riverina'.
A little different to the usual cooking competitions frequenting television, this challenge focused specifically on sausages, burger patties and small goods.
A butcher of 52 years, Kevin Green, travelled from Wollongong to be one of the judges in the Sausage King competition held at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga.
"We've got a few categories today, Australian tasty, lamb, poultry, gourmet, pork, continental, and then also we're doing burgers," he said.
Mr Green explained that judging the meat was far more intricate than simply asking, 'does it taste good?'.
"The main score is for flavour, but we first start off with a raw product and do a visual judgment, then the cooked product visual looking at texture, and finally, flavour," he said.
"Some have different colours and textures, but the consumer is ultimately after the flavour."
The competition works to support the independent butchers of the region, and Mr Green said the industry has come a long way.
"Over my time in the industry, I've seen it evolve and all the products now are a lot greater with a better variety," he said.
Mr Green said the competition presented some interesting creations.
"There's nothing too out of the ordinary, but there's a lot of sweetness we are seeing," he said.
"Butchers are introducing pumpkins and feta, olives and manuka honeys, then of course your garlic and rosemary. Some people are even putting beetroot in."
Other varieties included Merlot and cracked pepper, basil and jalapeno, Roma tomato and feta, and even a Big Mac flavoured sausage.
Relationship Officer for the Australian Meat Industry Council, Craig Wright, said a winner would be chosen for each of the nine categories.
"The winner of each will go on to compete in the state competition against winners from 16 other NSW regions," he said.
"Then the national competition will be held in February next year in NSW."
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