A hog jowl sourced from Berea College Farm in Berea, Kentucky

Giants strode the earth this past weekend in Kansas City as the top cured meat men in the nation gathered for the 2018 American Cured Meat Championships.

67 producers entered 687 examples of charcuterie.

The Clarence Knebel Memorial Best of Show Award went to the shank-on boneless ham entered by the Country Meat Shop of Moberly, Missouri.

That ham was also the Grand Champion in the Cured Specialty Meats category.

Who was the master behind the ham? The owner of the Country Meat Shop Mark Reynolds.

Jake Sailer of Sailer’s Food Market and Meat Processing in Elmwood, Wisconsin was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame as was Gary Bardine of Bardine’s Country Smokehouse out of Crabtree, Pennsylvania.

Here’s the list of winners:

Andouille: Leiding’s Meats & Catering, Danville, Ill.

Bacon, Heavyweight: Leiding’s Meats & Catering

Bacon, Lightweight: Country Meat Shop, Moberly, Mo.

Braunschweiger: Fisher Packing, Portland, Ind.

Country Bacon: Dry-Cured: Merindorf Meats, Mason, Mich.

Cured Specialty Meats: Country Meat Shop

Dried Beef: AJ’s Lena Maid Meats, Lena, Ill.

Frankfurters/Wieners (Coarse-Ground): Merindorf Meats

Frankfurters/Wieners (Emulsified): Country Meat Shop

Ham – Bone-in (Heavyweight): Bardine’s Country Smokehouse, Crabtree, Pa.

Ham – Bone-in (Lightweight): Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Galesburg, Ill.

Ham – Boneless (Commercial): Bardine’s Country Smokehouse

Ham – Boneless (Traditional): Country Meat Shop

Ham – Semi-Boneless: Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland, Wis.

Jerky – Restructured: Bardine’s Country Smokehouse

Jerky – Whole-Muscle: Schmidts’ Meat Market, Nicollet, Minn.

Large-Diameter Luncheon Meat: Bardine’s Country Smokehouse

Meat Snack Sticks: Wood’s Smoked Meats, Bowling Green, Mo.

Meat Snack Sticks, Flavored: Louie’s Finer Meats

Old-World Dried & Fermented Sausage: Northwoods Locker, Clayton, Wis.

Ring Bologna: Jerome Country Market, Jerome, Mich.

Semi-Dried Sausage – Cooked, Non-Fermented: Dewig Meats, Haubstadt, Ind.

Hot Links: Tulare Meat Locker & Sausage Co., Tulare, Calif.

Small-Diameter Smoked & Cooked Sausage: Wyttenbach Country Locker, Prairie Du Sac, Wis.

Smoked Turkey: Edgewood Locker, Edgewood, Iowa

Specialty-Flavored, Small-Diameter Cooked & Smoked Sausage: Country Meat Shop

Specialty Game Meats: Hermann Wurst Haus, Hermann Mo.

Summer Sausage: Karl’s Country Market, Menomonee Falls, Wis.

Small-Diameter BBQ Sausage (2018 Specialty Class): Tiefenthaler Quality Meats, Holstein, Iowa

Sounds like a hell of a time. And we love that there were both lightweight and heavyweight categories for bacon.

American Cured Meat Championships.

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