THE Eyre Peninsula is world famous for its seafood but it now has another culinary claim to fame -the home of Australia's best lamb sausages.
At the coveted Australian Meat Industry Council run National Sausage King awards at Terrigal in NSW on the weekend, Our Butcher @ Cowell took out the title with its most popular seller; its sundried tomato and feta lamb sausages.
Its success didn't end there though also finishing second in the gourmet category with its Merguez , a French-style spicy lamb sausage.
The finalists from six states who progressed through regional and state finals were scored on the visual appeal of their sausages in both the raw and cooked state, as well as their flavour and texture, and performance on the hot plate with shrinkage, splitting and crinkling.
Our Butcher @ Cowell butcher Lewis Helps said it was a thrill to be recognised among 3200 independent butchers, many much larger sized businesses than the small EP shop.
"It is a great achievement and being acknowledged by your peers in the same industry, because it is judged by butchers, is pretty special," he said.
"Everyone is that excited for us- there is a buzz in the community."
He says the media exposure they received as state winners means 'grey nomad' travellers often coming in looking for their sausages and hopes the national win will add further to sales.
"We were a day late making them (the winning sausages) this week because we were at the awards but with everyone coming in we have made four times as many - we knew the demand would be there."
Mr Helps puts the success of the business owned by Craig and Joanne Klingberg down to sourcing local products with their lamb from farmers within 50 kilometres.
"If you start with quality ingredients you end up with a good product," he said.
Collins Court Butcher, Mount Gambier, were runner-up in the traditional Australian pork category.
AMIC chief executive Patrick Hutchinson said the Sausage King awards were the premier meat competition with a huge amount of time, effort and expertise going into every product showcased in the finals.
"It gives us an opportunity to recognise our best butchers but it is also about the wider industry," he said.
"Whether they're in a major metro shopping centre or in a tin shop in a rural town, butchers are highly skilled tradespeople. The butcher shop is not just a place to grab some meat for the freezer, it's where people go to try new and interesting products, to get ideas for meals and meal planning, and of course to support local business and shop local."
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