Butchers in Canterbury really do bring home the bacon.
For the sixth year in a row a butcher from the region has taken out the top prize at the Bacon of the Year awards.
Ellesmere Butchery's sugar-cured middle bacon was named 2012's best rasher in the 100% New Zealand Bacon & Ham Competition, beating 53 other butcheries for the top title.
Butcher Chris Brown said the key to his award winning bacon was taking the time to smoke the meat in an old-fashioned smoke house, unlike some butchers who use an electric facility to speed up the process.
The Ellesmere Butchery suffered some damage in the 2010 Darfield earthquake but luckily the butcher's 20-year-old smokehouse escaped unscathed.
"It's a long process, you can't rush it. You have to let all the flavours all draw in," said Brown.
"I strive to have people love my product. If we do well in business along the way, then that's a plus."
Brown also takes the time to hang his bacon, before it is smoked, to ensure all the moisture is drawn from the meat.
This ensures the bacon crisps and caramelises when it cooks.
Judge Anita Sarginson, one of 33 judges at the awards, said she could tell there had been a lot of love and care applied in the preparation of the meat.
"It's raw presentation was absolutely stunning, it didn't falter from what it promised after it was cooked," Sarginson said.
The Ellesmere Butchery has prepared a large load of its award-winning bacon in preparation for a growing demand.