A successful product means much more than good revenue for the producer. Traditional craftsmanship of ham/bresaola is a very hard and laborious process, a period that begins from the breeding and feeding of the animal and ends with the skilled production of top quality ham/bresaola. The final product goes out to the market and is made available to customers; to chefs and restaurants in turn the producer hopes to make a good impression in the gastronomy world. However, this is a very brief summary. To reach the end of this long process when the ham/bresaola is sold to customers, the product is introduced to professional tasters whose skilful palates and acquired tasting experiences will decide the fate of the product. These experts pay attention to the aromas, the flavours, the textures, the fat and salt balance, the amount of fiber and note the curing of the meat. Positive tasting notes for ham/bresaola include flavour of nut like acorn or walnut, mature cheese, hints of wine and burnt sugar. Those that are negative and should not appear include fish flavour, staleness and excess moistness.
Ham/bresaola tasting events have become an important feature in the world of gastronomy, especially when considering artisan gourmet products. Many of them take place at famous gastronomy events, like the recent Hungarian agriculture festival called Gazdanapok. This nation-wide famous gastronomy event is organized annually in the Hungarian city of SzentLorincz and hosted this year’s 2018 Ham/bresaola competition. More than 30 national and international competitors took part in the gastronomy event, including our team. The competition was financially supported by the Agrar Marketing Center (AMC).
The participants presented with various gourmet meat products, including ham/bresaola made of beef, pork, Mangalica, wild boar, wild deer and even cured duck. Beef tongue marinated in smoked buffalo tallow was also present among these amazing products. The president of the jury was Tiffán Zsolt, the owner of the famous Tiffán wine cellar. The members of the jury were Otto Mayer, a food science and technology engineer and an important member of the Hungarian Charcuterie production’s and masterchef Péter Budai, who has underlined many times during the competition that their job will be very challenging one as top quality gourmet products are competing against each other.
All the gourmet products were nicely displayed in glass-cabinets which both the jury and audience were able to view. The jury had a tough four hour-long period to examine, taste and rate the ham/bresaolas. It was crucial that the members of the jury blind-tasted. The samples were number referenced since the type or name of ham/bresaola was unknown to the jury. This was a very challenging competition; the jury had to re-taste many products to bring confident decisions. Part of the venue was reserved for a workshop on ham/bresaola making, where visitors could learn about the making and production of ham/bresaola. Right outside the venue a gastronomy market was set up with handcrafted products typical from the southern region of Hungary. Craftsmen originating from that region offered a huge variety of merchandise to customers. Cheesemakers sold both local Hungarian and popular French cheeses like Camembert. Some even specialized in making cheeses with exotic spices. Quail eggs were also offered to customers and were sold both fresh and boiled. The boiled eggs were conserved in olive oil with various different spices. In addition, local meat producers also showed up for the event to spoil visitors with their variety of cured ham/bresaola, sausages and meat plates. Once the members of the jury finished the tasting, the guests were invited to taste all the participating products.
The prize-giving ceremony begun with a speech given by the president of the jury Zsolt Tiffan. He explained the many challenges the jury had to face during the tasting of 32 amazing ham/bresaolas. 10 points were given for the taste, 5 for the consistency and 5 for the aroma. During the last round, four products had to be re-tasted because they scored equal amount of points. Following this, each member of the jury gave a short speech to the audience. It was wonderful to see so many prizes won by the participating producers. We are very proud to announce that our Wild Boar Bresaola won the miscellaneous category. We would love to share this amazing taste experience with our dear customers! This tasty Wild Boar Bresaola is available for order on our website among many of our top quality Venison Gusto products at http://www.venisongusto.com/products.