High Street favourite James Pringle’s tempting pudding beat off all other south east entrants to lift the regional title in the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards 2022.
What’s more, when up against all the other Scottish regions’ entries, it was judged in third place overall.
Delighted owner James said that after lifting the South East accolade in 2014 and again in 2016, they had recently tweaked their black pudding recipe to present a sweeter and more moist offering to the 2022 judges.
"It's all trial and error," said James, a fourth-generation butcher running the business started by his great-grandfather Robert 120 years ago. "Tastes change and it seems we got it just right.
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"I had a feeling we would be in with a chance this year as I thought this recipe was our best yet."
All the black pudding is made on site by one of the butchers – Billy Hutton – to James' exacting instructions and it proves a big seller to both locals and tourists.
"It's great to be regional champion again," said James. "We're just a team of four here and this is a real boost for us all – a great start to the year.
"There are certain core product awards that a butcher wants to win and black pudding is one of them.
"To be a triple regional champion is a real statement in our industry and we're thrilled."
Scottish Craft Butchers president Tom Courts said the standard displayed in the Scotweigh-sponsored competition typified the quality produced by craft butchers in all parts of the country.
"It's great to see butchers vying for the accolades again after Covid," said Tom, "and we're seeing the very best of the best take this year's awards.
"It gives a butcher a great lift to know his products are judged to be among the best in Scotland and customers can be assured that the black pudding they buy across the counter at James Pringle in Hawick is exactly the same as those that secured the judges' vote in the competition."
One of the judges, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy, said: “With such high-quality products, like those that made it to the final, the future for Scottish Craft Butchers is assured.”