Johnny Cash tribute sausage a fiery hit

A fiery sausage has proved a big hit.

FreshChoice Leeston is celebrating after its butchery department was awarded a gold elite prize at the Great New Zealand Sausage competition, for its gourmet pork sausage with some serious heat.

Butcher Daryl Johnson named his creation after his favourite Johnny Cash song.

“We went for the Ring of Fire. It’s got a lot of colour, a lot of flavour that comes out nicely in the first bite. It’s nice and sweet and then you get a little bit of a burning sensation after. So this is a sausage that is more for . . . the more you eat, the more you like.”

The awards were presented in Auckland last week. Seventeen judges munched their way through an impressive 650 sausages, from 116 outlets across the country.

This was the first time the Leeston supermarket had entered, and the team was delighted the recipe captured the taste of judges.

Daryl Johnson named his with his award-winning sausages after the Johnny Cash song. Photo: Getty...
Daryl Johnson named his with his award-winning sausages after the Johnny Cash song. Photo: Getty Images
“There’s a bit of paprika, and honey and sugar and bits and pieces like that, and a few other herbs and spices in there. But yeah, all natural ingredients.”

Fresh Choice Leeston owner-operator David Craig said the secret to good food was to keep it simple.

“It’s rural, you know, it’s kiwi New Zealand still here. So we’re not too inspired by all the foreign fusion cooking and all that fancy stuff. We’re down to earth, grassroots . . .

“So this is, I suppose up our alley and a great chance for Daryl . . . to be able to showcase some flair and a little bit of creativity.”

But Johnson isn’t resting on his laurels. He’s already working on a spicy bratwurst sausage, which the team may enter in next year’s competition.

- By Geoff Sloan
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air