Brits win big in Belgium

Three British butchers have struck gold in an annual European competition run by Belgium's Les Compagnons de la Gastronomie Porcine (The Brotherhood of Pork Gastronomy).

The eighth annual event, which took place last month in the Charleroi suburb of Ransart, Belgium, attracted entries from butchers across Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland and Britain. Products ranged from simple country hams to chocolates with praline and foie gras filling, smoked sausages, fancy terrines and traditional black puddings.

The small British contingent scooped a number of awards. First time entrant Tom Gruszka, from West Bradford in Lancashire, won three gold medals, and was named British champion for the cooked ham class.

Chris Unsworth of Salford's Andrew's Continental Deli returned for his second crack at the international event, and won four gold medals and one silver, as well as the title for British cooked sausage champion.

Regular competitor Andrew Holt of the Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company gathered three golds to add to his collection, plus a silver, and was yet again crowned British champion in the speciality product class.

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