THE nation's best bacon is going under scrutiny with judging beginning on the Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards.
Butchers and smallgoods manufacturers from all around the country have perfected their recipes and submitted their entries in the hopes of being announced as the nation's best.
While it may be tempting for the judging panel to dive straight into tasting the entries, each individual bacon will first be assessed on its appearance.
The judges then assess the aroma and lean to fat ratio in both the raw and cooked form.
The judging panel will be made up of four bacon connoisseurs - Fleischmeister Horst Schurger alongside chefs Simon Bestley, Adam Moore and Paul McDonald, who will determine the winning bacon.
The winner will be announced on August 26, in time to celebrate International Bacon Day on August 31.
Australian Pork Limited marketing general manager Peter Haydon says the competition shines a light on smallgoods makers who are using 100 per cent Australian pork to produce their bacon, which is great news for both producers and bacon-lovers.
"People are becoming much more interested in where their food comes from - now more than ever - and this competition celebrates that by championing Australian grown," he said.
"Many people are surprised to learn that 80pc of bacon sold in Australia is made using imported pork.
"If you want to support Australian pig farmers, look for the pink Australian Pork logo on pack.
"Otherwise look for the green and gold Country of Origin Label and make sure the bar chart is almost full."
Having won the competition last year, Campbell's Superior Meats owner Rhett Campbell knows exactly what it's all about and more importantly, what goes into award-winning bacon.
"This competition celebrates the best Aussie produce and an iconic ingredient," he said.
"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.
"I think what set us apart last year was the salty smoke profile of our short cut bacon. But the fact is, we start with a pretty incredible product so it's easy to achieve a winning result."