Have you ever wondered how valley sausages stack up against province-wide competition?
With two silver medals at the Fraser Valley Food Show awarded to their creations earlier this month, Konig Sausage and Meat Company co-owners Craig McGowan and Michael Hecken now have their answer.
“Everyone tells us how great our sausage is, so we just wanted to put it up against other butcher shops that make their own in-house sausage,” Mr. McGowan told The Valley Echo.
The food show’s Great Canadian Sausage Competition, held in Abbottsford on the weekend of October 4th to 6th, saw more than a dozen other sausage-makers enter more than 600 samples among 12 different categories.
Four judges took between seven and eight hours to evaluate all of the sausage, Mr. McGowan said. Konig’s entered its meat into six of the categories, and were awarded two silver medals as the runners-up in two separate categories, for charkuteri and game bratwurst.
“Charkuteri is kind of a dried salami category, our chimney sticks,” he said. “Ours really stood out because it was black and double-smoked; it was a definite win.” He said that smaller butcher shops like Konig’s often customize in processing game.”
“Our game bratwurst won silver in that category,” he announced.
Because there were many experienced butchers who’ve made sausage for far longer the Konigs owners haves, the two silver medals were very gratifying, said Mr. McGowan.
The annual competition was being held for its second time ever.
“Now that we’ve been there once, it’s going to be something we try to get to every year,” he said.
In addition to entering their meat into competition, the local sausage makers were at the event to explore the strengths of other butcher shops, which exposed them to new ingredients and spices, he added. The team will consider adding new sausage flavour to the showcase in the new year, “so we’ll use all the information and things we saw at the food show and competition in that decision.”
Mr. McGowan said some of their success came from the less common practice of cold smoking, which the local butcher shop has a special machine for.
“Michael knows very well how to use and create different flavours and different sausage with that one device.”
Konig’s winning sausages will be on sale year-round at their store in downtown Invermere.