SAUSAGE KINGS : Bruce Hall, Ashley Thomson, Riley Cook and Joshua Lock, butchers at Alstonville Quality Meats, who won prizes for their pork and their lamb sausages.
SAUSAGE KINGS : Bruce Hall, Ashley Thomson, Riley Cook and Joshua Lock, butchers at Alstonville Quality Meats, who won prizes for their pork and their lamb sausages. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Alstonville butchers snags award once again

ALSTONVILLE Quality Meats butcher Ashley Thomson has a history of snagging awards for his gourmet sausages.

And this year is no different, with the team topping the Australian Meat Industry Council's regional titles for Sausage King Far North Coast in two categories.

Mr Thomson said he had no beef proving his bangers were the best.

"The state finals here are quite tough," he said.

"There's 19 regions, including the ACT that we're up against. In each category there's 19 other competitors that are fighting it out for that first place.

"It comes down to the judges on the day whether they think that your sausage is tasty enough to move onto the national titles.

"But we made it all the way through to nationals last year so we're definitely up there with the best of them."

Last year, the Alstonville team were the clear winners in the 2015 state finals, qualifying to compete in the national finals.

They also made it to the state finals in 2012, 2013 and 2014, proving they were no silly sausages.

Mr Thomson said the fact their lamb, mint and rosemary sausages were paleo probably helped get them over the line.

"There's no wheat and they're made from scratch using natural ingredients."

He said it was high school work experience that got him into butchery 27 years ago.

"I did work experience at school and went from there.

"I just love being a butcher. It has changed so much since I first started. It's very creative, which I like, and just giving very good product to our customer."

Some of Alstonville Quality Meats more exotic flavours included pork, date and macadamia, mild Mexican, Texas chicken and lamb, mint and rosemary.

Alstonville Quality Meats won the pork and lamb categories this year with their lamb, mince and rosemary sausage and traditional Australian pork sausage.

the humble snag - in short

It's difficult to trace the origin of the humble sausage since it's the logical step to preserving meat. However the Greek poet Homer did mention something akin to a blood sausage in his work Odyssey, written circa 8th century BC.

A few hundred years later Aristophanes wrote a comedy starring a sausage seller Agoracritus, who was chosen to rule Athens.

According to website sausageobsessions.com, the practice of smoking sausage was brought to ancient Rome by soldiers who had served in southern Italy.

A recipe for lucanicae, as they were known, appears in the Roman recipe book Apicius feature instructions for blood sausages made with blood, leeks, onions, yolks, pine nuts and pepper poached in liquamen and wine. There are also recipes for brain and egg sausages.

Traditionally, sausage casings were made of cleaned intestines or stomachs.

However, many modern sausages are now made with collagen, cellulose or plastic castings.

They can also be made with almost any meat, including emu, kangaroo and crocodile.



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