Riverside Meats, a family-owned and operated meat processing firm in Corman Park near Warman, was crowned Lord of the (Sausage) Rings for the second year in a row at the third annual event in Osler on Thursday, November 9.
In addition to winning the “Best Overall” championship, Riverside Meats also walked away with the awards for “Best Appearance” and Best Texture.”
The annual competition is designed to showcase the area’s Mennonite Farmers Sausage producers. A total of eight firms competed in the blind taste test, in which about 150 guests vote for their favourites.
Ideal Meats of Neuhorst won the award for “Best Flavour”, while Smokehaus Meats of Martensville won the “VIP award” for the second year in a row. The VIP Award is based on the votes of a panel of media representatives and mayors of area communities.
Firms competing in the competition also included: Carmen Corner Meats of Waldheim, J&J Sausage of Warman, Pine View Farms of Corman Park near Osler, Smokey Joe’s Meat Shop of Rheinland and Valley Meats of Gruenthal.
Organized by the Town of Osler Events Committee (TOEC), the competition’s growing popularity is due to the work of volunteers and contributions from corporate sponsors.
TOEC Chair Ben Buhler said the high quality of local food produced in the area north of Saskatoon is worth celebrating.
“Where else can you taste eight different recipes for Mennonite Farmers Sausage in one place?” said Buhler. “This is a real success story.”
In addition to promoting this flavourful Mennonite heritage, The Lord of the (Sausage) Rings event is also designed to raise funds for recreational facilities and programs in the Town of Osler.
Last year, funds from the second annual Lord of the (Sausage) Rings went toward putting in a concrete floor for the town’s outdoor rink. That $110,000 project was completed last summer thanks to fundraising and grants. Osler Mayor Abe Quiring noted it was finished without any significant cost to taxpayers.
Funds raised at this year’s event will go toward building a covered stage in the community’s north end. The stage will be the focal point for the town’s popular Canada Day outdoor evening concert, which in recent years has attracted close to 900 people.
The VIP panel at this year’s event included: Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood, Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence, Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth and Hague Mayor Pat Wagner. The master of ceremonies for the evening was CJWW Radio Music Director Jason Lee, who also made up part of the media panel along with staff from the Clark’s Crossing Gazette.
A light-hearted “chain reaction” word game that pitted the media against the mayors saw the media team squeak out a narrow, and ultimately meaningless, victory for the second year in a row.