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Teesside Pork Pie Championship held in Stockton

POINT-SCORING punters flocked to Teesside to cast their votes on the perfect pork pie.

The Teesside Pork Pie Championships, launched by Stockton bar Hope and Union, returned at the weekend to showcase the region’s finest producers of one of the nation’s favourite pies.

The annual competition was back and bigger then ever this year, with the organisers doubling the number of butchers involved.

I promptly made my way along to the town centre bar and dived inside, quickly shutting the door and the ongoing wrath of Storm Arwen behind me.

The Northern Echo: Pork Pie competition at Hope and Union Bar in Stockton, pictured supervisor Stevie Donald and barman Ryan Toase Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTPork Pie competition at Hope and Union Bar in Stockton, pictured supervisor Stevie Donald and barman Ryan Toase Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

The smell of the pies hit me straight away, and it was not long before I was supplied with a platter of five different pork pies and a list of instructions.

Pies were to be judged based on the best: pastry, filling, presentation, ratio of pastry and filling, overall favourite, and second favourite.

All pies were judged blind, with no idea which butcher was responsible, aiding the fair and impartial nature of the competition.

Taking notes was vital for any serious competitor and fellow judging members of the public could be seen writing notes and creating a live tally of their preferred pies.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

Eating and judging five different pork pies sounds like the dream job, and they were delicious, but it was important to take this seriously.

Biting into the second pie and the differentiation’s were immediately clear. Some pastries were crumblier than others, some pies looked petter than they tasted and some had too much jelly.

The taste was different in most all of them, too. Pie number three, as it was known to judges, contained a nice peppery kick while others had no substance at all. Yes, it is possible for a pork pie to taste too ‘porky’.

The Northern Echo: Dave Hyde, Simon Robinson and Oliver, nine, and Spencer Hyde, five, put the pies to the test Pictures: SARAH CALDECOTTDave Hyde, Simon Robinson and Oliver, nine, and Spencer Hyde, five, put the pies to the test Pictures: SARAH CALDECOTT

I, like many others, was keeping a live tally before casting my final results on the bar’s online form.

The participating butchers and results remain under wraps for now, but it clear to see there are quality pork pie producers in Teesside, whoever they are.

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