AS it curved its way across sterile steel like a rainbow from a carnivore’s dream, we stood there transfixed, unable to take our eyes off the wonder that is the creation of the sausage.

Yesterday four Warwick representatives of the Sausage King judge team were invited to a birthplace of the sausage: Carey Bros Butchery on Locke Street.

The hotly-contested judge pool was whittled away to include Southern Downs Regional councillors Ross Bartley and Neil Meiklejohn, with Daily News deputy editor Jeremy Sollars and this reporter (as well as two meat inspectors and a hide buyer all from Toowoomba).

They are a force of eight who hold the crown according to their tastebuds.

Carey Bros Butchery part-owner Paul Carey said it was a first for the Rose City to hold the outback region (which stretches from Stanthorpe to Toowoomba to the Northern Territory border) Sausage King competition, a battle taken very seriously by butchers, which can also dictate a store’s longevity.

“It’s fierce competition, which has changed how people view the sausage,” Mr Carey said.

“When you think about it, sausages are the most important part of our business because most people who walk through the door buy them.

“You can tell how busy your day’s been by how many you’ve sold.

“If your sausages are no good, no one will come in.

“It’s not glamorous, but we sell one tonne a week.”

The perfect sausage quandary opens a myriad of questions: Prick? Swallow? How do you judge?

The sausage oracle merely held up hands in an attempt to silence our queries.

“Don’t prick your sausages,” Mr Carey said.

“You could be judging 30 morsels of sausage, so I wouldn’t swallow. Chew, chew, chew and then discretely use the napkin.

“Extract everything out of the bite before you use the napkin.

“Judges will be looking at appearance – how the sausage appears on the plate and how it’s garnished. Then it’s cut the full length to see its texture. It is cooked to make sure a heap of fat doesn’t run out of the sausage; and finally there’s the taste test.”

Once the meaty delight has been discarded, the judges will cleanse their palate with a sip of water or the crisp bite of an apple during Sunday’s competition.

Mr Carey was quick with his digits during yesterday’s visit with an impressive show of knotting the freshly-cocooned meat in about 50seconds.

Sausage King

Where: Glengallan Homestead

When: 9.30am, Sunday

It’s free to wander the markets and peruse the Sausage King competition (which includes wet dishes and pastries) unfold.

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