A Leighton Buzzard man had his wildest dreams come true when he was chosen to spend an entire day munching sausages.
In September, the LBO featured a competition from Meat Management Magazine and Linslade master butcher, Keith Fisher, who were looking for one passionate food fan to help judge the best bangers of 2018 for UK Sausage Week (Oct 29 - Nov 4).
With his eyes on the prize, Leighton Buzzard local, Tom Rouse, 32, wrote a witty poem about why he would be best, and was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the British Isles to join the judging panel at the Regional Food Academy, Shropshire, on October 3.
Tom, who works in oil operations and lives with his fiancé Kathryn and their two pugs, Lenny and Derrick, said: “I really enjoyed the whole experience! I enjoyed the huge variety, really good quality, and exciting flavour combinations. There were a lot of first time tastes.
“I particularly liked the chicken, chicken liver, and leek and stilton sausage I tasted. It was such an original idea and a really special and different flavour.
“I also enjoyed the experience of the innovative products like beef and horseradish.
“I learnt that there are some spectacular ideas in the UK for sausages and that the variation in a traditional sausage alone is huge. I should be more adventurous as I’ve missed out on so many previously.
“I would absolutely recommend the sausage judging to everyone. Rarely would your get to try so many high standard and quality sausages - in my 32 years, I tried more in one day than I had in my whole life.
“Everyone was so friendly and happy to talk about their experiences, what they liked and what they weren’t so keen on, their backgrounds and what they had been trying.”
Tom’s winning poem, which gave him the edge over the other applicants, was as follows:
Sausages and bangers, wursts and franks;
A substantial part of our history, these meaty snacks amount!
Pork or beef or chicken, lamb or kangaroo;
Spices, herbs and peppercorns; pink and black and blue!
With cheese or veg or sweet treats, variety is the key;
We all love a tasty sausage, so leave me one or two, or three!
Head judge Keith Fisher, Institute of Meat CEO, interviewed Tom for the winning role.
He said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Tom. What he doesn’t know about sausages isn’t worth knowing. He may even have taught me a thing or two!”
To find out which sausages were crowned champion bangers of 2018, visit: https://uksausageweek.com/