Northumbrian sausages have swept the board at a European competition.
The competition at Kortrijk, in Belgium, saw Rothbury Family Butchers, Blagdon Farm Shop and R Turnbull and Sons from Alnwick scoop an incredible 12 prizes between them.
Morris Adamson, owner of Rothbury Family Butchers, was delighted with his five awards.
He said: “To get three golds and two silvers at our first attempt is phenomenal. The judge gave our Northumbrian sausage 100 out of 100 and that’s perfection.”
The Northumbrian Sausage, along with the Cragside Cracker and the Simonside Sizzler, all won gold at the competition.
Mr Adamson said the Cragside Cracker, containing pork, rosemary and red onion, is the most popular sausage sold at his butcher’s in Rothbury and was a natural choice to be entered into the competition.
Some sausages were an altogether riskier option, however.
He said: “I was a bit apprehensive about the Simonside Sizzler because it is our hottest sausage, but I wanted to see how the Belgians would react.”
The risk paid off, however, with the garlic, chilli and coriander sausage also winning gold.
Callum Garrick, 16, who only started as a butcher in September, made the Rothbury Family Butcher’s red onion steak burger.
The burger, cooked by Mr Adamson’s wife Maria, won a silver medal in Belgium and Mr Adamson heaped praise on his young apprentice.
He said: “It is great to have a local lad who wanted to join the trade and so good to have someone young coming through when the average age of a butcher in this country is 52.”
The pork, ginger and spring onion sausage also won a silver medal.
Blagdon Farm Shop won two gold medals for the Blagdon Porterhouse Burger and its dry cured back bacon.
It also received silver medals for its farm range burger, containing caramelised onion and apple, and its breakfast sausage, with a hint of clove and paprika.
Blagdon butcher Simon Osborne was pleased to win a medal for everything he sent to the competition as well as seeing other Northumberland traders faring well.
He said: “It is a really good test of the quality of butchers in Northumberland compared to the rest of the country.”
All Blagdon Farm Shop’s products are free range and Mr Osborne says this makes a massive difference to the taste.
Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull won silver medals for his maple cured and treacle cured bacon.