A double smoked, maple-infused boneless ham produced by a family-run business in western Sydney has been named Australia's best.
Milperra's Sunshine Meats beat 122 other entries to take out the prize in the annual ham competition run by industry body Australian Pork.
Established 26 years ago by Australian-Portuguese couple Joe and Maria Pereira, the smallgoods producer and retailer almost didn't enter the competition due to the impending Christmas rush. This will see them smoking up to 200 hams every day.
It was their 17-year-old daughter Telina who insisted they participate, choosing her favourite ham off the shelf and encouraging her parents to enter.
"She did all the work, she understands all the products and she said we had to take one," Joe laughs. "The ham is the one we sell every day, it has a great balance with flavours that we blend and mix ourselves. We try to be different."
The ham received a perfect 100/100 score from the judging panel, meat expert Horst Schurger and chefs Paul McDonald and Simon Bestley. The hams were judged on taste, colour, aroma and texture.
Other winners included Bertocchi Brothers Triple Smoked Leg Ham, awarded best nationally available ham; and Queensland's Master Meats, winning best bone-in leg ham.