Butch­ers bat­tle it out in taste test

Con­test: Ding­wall firm cel­e­brat­ing dou­ble win

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - BY BEN HENDRY

Butch­ers from Orkney to Aberdeen­shire bat­tled to have their black pud­ding and beef sausages crowned as the best of the north dur­ing one of the re­gion’s tasti­est com­pe­ti­tions last night.

The Scot­tish Fed­er­a­tion of Meat Traders As­so­ci­a­tion staged the north­ern leg of its an­nual cham­pi­onship con­test cel­e­brat­ing some of Scot­land’s best­loved meat dishes at the Laich­moray Ho­tel in El­gin last night.

And staff from the Fraser Brothers butcher’s in Ding­wall were elated when the re­sults of a blind taste test re­vealed that the firm had scored an amaz­ing dou­ble by pro­duc­ing both the most succulent sausages and pleas­ing pud­dings.

Over­joyed man­ager Murray Mackay said the shop’s staff fol­lowed time­honoured ba­sic recipes but added a few twists of their own.

He said: “We were very sur­prised to win both awards.

“Our black pud­ding recipe has been the same for a long while, but we have tweaked it here and there.

“In 2010 it won the award for the best in Scot­land, and that re­ally boosted busi­ness.

“Peo­ple were com­ing from all over just to try it, and we hope that will hap­pen again now.”

Mr Mackay added the firm has been go­ing since 1888, and that it re­tained close links to its past, as the grand­son of the butcher who founded it still works there.

Over­all, 20 sep­a­rate black pud­dings and beef sausages were poked, prod­ded and de­voured by a panel of ex­pert judges through­out the evening. Sausages made by In­verurie’s David­son Spe­cial­ist Butcher, John Ste­wart in Banff and J&G Dos­sett in Kin­tore also tan­ta­lised judges’ taste­buds.

But for­mer RAF ser­vices cook Maria Dar­row-Bland was swayed by the dis­tinc­tive flavour and look of the Fraser Brothers’ ef­fort.

Re­tired butcher Ge­orge Sin­clair, who ran a suc­cess­ful store in Tor­phins for decades, said the Ding­wall out­let’s black pud­ding hit all the right notes too. He said: “The tex­ture and ap­pear­ance were both good, and it scored highly in ev­ery one of our cri­te­ria.”

Four other re­gional heats will be car­ried out across the length and breadth of Scot­land dur­ing the rest of the month ahead of a na­tional fi­nal in May.

MEATY TASK: Maria Dar­row-Bland and the P&J’s Ben Hendry judge the sausage and black pud­ding of­fer­ings

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