Ham or turkey? Nope…it’s lamb!

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Lamb Leg Roasts top list of Kiwis’ favourite Christmas meats

It’s official! A leg of lamb is New Zealand’s favourite Christmas meat according to members of Retail Meat New Zealand (RMNZ) – the organisation representing and promoting the interests and views of businesses involved in the retail meat industry – who have seen them flying off the sh-‘elfs’ this festive period.

Lamb leg roasts at Christmas are as quintessentially Kiwi as heading to the beach or cricket in the backyard, so it is no surprise that the popular meat tops the list. Ham takes the runner-up spot, with rump steak in third, whole chicken and pork roast round off the top five, in fourth and fifth spot respectively. Antoinette Bisset, General Manager of Retail Meat New Zealand says for many families what takes pride of place on the table is often based on tradition.

“Christmas is a time for Kiwis to relax, spend time with family and eat for the love of food. Every household has their own traditions on what is served over Christmas and, with so many responsibly produced meats on offer, it was always going to be a tight battle,” says Bisset. “However, when the results came in, it perhaps wasn’t a surprise that a leg of lamb took the top spot given that it’s a product New Zealand is internationally renowned for.”

The results were sourced from members of RMNZ, which includes most of the major meat retailers in New Zealand as well as some of the smaller chains including the Aussie Butcher. Reuben Sharples, the 2017 Alto Butcher of the Year and owner of Aussie Butcher New Lynn, has been flooded with requests for his award-winning ham this year.

“Christmas is always flat out for us – it’s the busiest time of the year particularly in the week running up to the big day. This year we won the award for the top ham at the Pork, Bacon and Ham Awards, so that has been very popular, but aside from that a leg of lamb is by far the people’s choice,” says Reuben.

“At the Sharples household this Christmas, we’ll be having one of my award-winning hams and leg of lamb on the BBQ – I can’t wait!”

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