Butchers battle it out in taste test
Contest: Dingwall firm celebrating double win
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