We are now only a few days away from the first ever British Cured Meat Festival, which takes place in Borough Market this Sunday 27th May. Part of the preparations for the day have been the preliminary rounds of the inaugural British Cured Meat Awards, which is being conducted in conjunction with the Guild of Fine Foods. Over two days in March, a panel of esteemed judges congregated at the Guild near Borough Market to cast their eye (and tastebuds) over a huge array of products which have been entered by producers from all over the UK.
The products were divided in to four categories; Cured Sausage, Cured Muscle Meat, Cooked or Smoked Meat & Soft and Spreadable Meat. Judges including chefs, food writers, producers and other meat boffins made their way through hundreds of items including a multitude of coppas, bresaolas and salamis plus some unusual items such as bacon jams and venison biltongs. An envious task I think you’ll all agree. After much deliberation the judges whittled down the entries to find a shortlist of finalists, from which the champions will be chosen this Sunday at the British Cured Meat Festival.
We’re very excited to be joined on the day by so many of the producers who entered their products in to the competition. They will be travelling to Borough Market from as far away as the Scottish Highlands, Northern Ireland and Cornwall. Many of these producers will be showcasing their products to the many festival goers on the day, who will have the opportunity to try some potentially award winning cured meats. As the festival comes to it’s conclusion, we’ll be joined by Simon Rimmer of Sunday Brunch (and Strictly Come Dancing) who will announce the winners of the aforementioned categories plus the Producer of the Year award and The Steve Lamb British Cured Meat Hero award.
The excitement really is building now ahead of both the awards and the festival itself, where the great and the good of our young but ever-expanding British cured meat industry will be there to celebrate the best produce made by the UK’s artisans. They will be joined by street food vendors, craft beer and wine bars PLUS live music from headliners The Wandering Hearts (among other excellent artists). Look out for a British cured meat pizza from Pizza Pilgrims featuring both Black Pudding and Lardo – drool. The event is now a sell out, but we’re sure this will become an annual event, so if you missed out on tickets keep an eye on our social media channels and subscribe to our newsletter via our website!