Butchers, bakers and pie makers from all over the country travelled to Ripponden for the ninth annual Charity Pork Pie Competition last Saturday.
Around 50 entries were received from all over Yorkshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire, with a baker from Shropshire also making the journey north in search of the title.
But Huddersfield turned out to be the home of perfect pork pies as the top two slots were filled by a butcher and baker from the town.
John Bradley, of John Bradley Butchers, in Lindley scooped the top award at his fifth attempt to land the coveted award, with Kirkburton Bakery running him close for second.’ “I keep coming back,” said the triumphant winner. “I have been making pies for about eight years and I have been coming back here for about five.”
The judges were members of the Old Bridge Inn Pork Pie Appreciation Society and they were joined by Calendar TV personality Christa Ackroyd. They had to taste hundreds of pies in their search for the best recipe and the best cooked pie.
Society secretary Peter Charnley said the organisers were delighted with the quality of the entries and that around e500 would be raised for St. Bartholomew’s Church, Ripponden.
He also described exactly what the judges would be looking for as they tasted all of the entrants “The pastry should be crisp, there should be plenty of juicy pork which you should be able to recognise as pork together with just the right amount of jelly.
“Seasoning is obviously important too and all of the competitors will have their own special blend to provide maximum flavour,” he explained.
Freshness is also a factor in the top porker and that's why many of the entries were baked on the morning of the contest.Society president Kevin Booth said the competition had grown from being an informal gathering to an intense test of baking skill.
“It is the definitive competition,” he said. “It is the one which everyone who makes pork pies wants to win.”
Huddersfield’s own John Bradley Butchers carried off first prize, relieving Mytholmroyd’s Waites Bakery of the title, with Kirkburton Bakers taking second, White’s Bakery, of Barnsley, coming third and Heseltine’s Butchers, from Elland, grabbing the fourth spot.