North-east food festival Huntly Hairst introduced a finger-licking new competition to its schedule this year – a sausage eat-off.
After being postponed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, the popular foodie event made its highly anticipated return at the weekend – running from Friday to Sunday – attracting thousands of people from the local community and further afield.
While visitors were thrilled to see a range of events make a comeback, including races, craft stalls and the ever-popular world stovies championship, the organisers decided to add a new competition into the mix, a sausage eat-off.
Running at the town’s Football Club on East Park Street from noon to 4pm on Saturday, contenders were required to consume as many sausages as they could in 60 seconds.
There were 40 spaces available (five spaces every half hour/session).
‘Loads of enthusiasm’
Laura McNeil, organiser of Huntly Hairst, is the mastermind behind the sausage eat-off. She believed that people “would love a fun competition that didn’t take any planning, they could just turn up and have a go”.
“I was hoping to attract a different demographic of people who wouldn’t normally enter a baking competition and inject some extra fun,” Laura added.
“I was looking forward to seeing people get really competitive and hopefully go up against their friends, too, for more fun. I also couldn’t wait to see people’s faces as they tried to win.
“There was loads of enthusiasm for the competition, with everyone wondering how many sausages could they realistically eat in 60 seconds. I think that curiosity got people to enter.”
Per session, the five entrants were given four sausages on their plate, with more being added depending on their pace.
Laura said: “The five entrants started at the same time and 60 seconds was measured on a stopwatch. The sausage had to be fully eaten to count as complete and be eaten one at a time.
“Water was given if someone in case of an emergency (but not to wash down the sausages).
“And the winner was the person that ate the most sausages in 60 seconds by the end of the event at 4pm.”
Max Hellyer, 12, who ate four full sausages in the 60 seconds, came out on top above the 10 competitors.
He took home a trophy and a T-shirt as keepsakes.
Other competitions, workshops and tastings on the day included oatcake, pickled beetroot, shortbread and vegetable animal competitions, as well as gin-making demonstrations.
Granite City Fish, Wark Farm, Hungry Squirrel, Sweet Toots Cakery, The Teasmith Gin, Morning Dog Coffee, The Bread Guy and Udny Provender were among the line-up of local producers in attendance.