By Rowena Singh
AUCKLAND – Migrant communities have been sharing their culture with us through food for over a century in New Zealand. And over the years Asian food in particular has been growing increasingly popular via the many eateries that have mushroomed around Auckland and the rest the country.
Another phenomenon is the fact that Asian food outlets are being nominated for and winning top industry awards year upon year for a wide range of food products – pies, sausage rolls, bacon, ham and sausages.
Among the awardees for sausage rolls is Patrick Lam of Patrick’s Pies in Tauranga, who won gold at the inaugural Bakels Legendary Sausage Roll competition 2020.
All up, Lam has won seven Bakels Supreme Pie Awards trophies and is hailed as New Zealand’s most awarded baker. He is now also proclaimed the best sausage roll baker in the country.
On another front, the Supreme Sikh Society was a finalist in the greater good category of the NZ Food Heroes Award Categories 2020 and won the People’s Choice NZ Food Heroes Award.
A particularly exciting Asian achievement was Grey Lynn Butchers’ scoop of this year’s most prestigious sausage award.
The Auckland based butcher took New Zealand’s top sausage award in the Great New Zealand Sausage competition, 2020, with their Isterband sausage entry.
The successful sausage was announced as the Supreme Award winner at a virtual awards ceremony organized by Retail Meat New Zealand.
According to Recipes.co.nz, the judges were unanimous that the winning sausage had all the qualities they were looking for including the best taste and texture, to beat over 600 other entries and claim the top spot.
Grey Lynn Butchers is owned and run by Lucia Rodrigues who hails from Goa, India and her nephew Eddie Rodrigues.
“I moved to New Zealand over 30 years ago, but my nephew came over 17 years ago, just before I bought the butchery,” says Rodrigues. “After his graduation he initially joined me to give me a hand, but ended up running the butchery.
Rodrigues says that they have won a string of awards for their sausages, bacon, ham and cured meats.
“Our butchery was named as the best store in Auckland by Metro Magazine three years in a row,” says Rodrigues. “But this is our first supreme award for one of our sausages and we are delighted.”
Since she bought the butchery 17 years ago they have always strived to produce top end quality products.
“Everything is done in small batches and we don’t take shortcuts,” she reveals. “All of our products are handmade using quality ingredients and the best quality meat.
“Making a good sausage is not just about having a good recipe. It’s about combining all the ingredients in complete harmony to give the sausage the perfect balance of flavour, texture and structure.
“It’s our love of food that led us into this business,” says Rodrigues. “When we first bought Grey Lynn Butchers we didn’t know much about meat. It took us a while to find our way.
“I guess that our love and passion for food and our focus on creating great products for our customers has helped us to turn this run down butchery into one of the best in Auckland. And yes, it’s a family business.”
Rodrigues says that Goans are well known for their chouricos (sausages), which are made from a mixture of pork, vinegar and spices – a combination which is extremely hot, spicy and flavourful.
But she says that the Goan sausages available over here are a little different. “In Goa we hand dice our meat for the sausages, but here the meat is all minced.
“Although we ate a lot of sausages in Goa we never got into making them. So I can’t say that my Goan background gave us the upper hand in making sausages. We had to learn everything from scratch.”