Sharpening up for world competition

Lucky are the meat shoppers at Taylor’s Market who tried the sausages prepared by the butchers on Team USA. Speaking from personal experience, these chubby, well-seasoned pork sausages tasted delicious both times.

They were products of the first practice session directed by market co-owner Danny Johnson and his butchering partner Paul Carras. Johnson is captain of the Butchers of America team, which was selected by the national butchers guild. There are four more on the team, from Texas, South Carolina, Virginia and San Francisco.

The six-man team will be a first for the States. They will compete in March in Belfast, Ireland at the World Butchers Challenge.

In the competition the team has three and a quarter hours to butcher for commercial sale half a beef, half a hog, a whole lamb, and five chickens. Teams provide their own seasonings, spices marinades and garnish to ready their products for commercial display.

Johnson has planned three more practice sessions at his market before the team takes off. He told The Sacramento Bee that the cutting is the easy part. To win, he says, takes planning and scheming.

“We are dead set on winning this thing,” Johnson told Ed Fletcher of The Bee.

The 250 competitors will be from Brazil, Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, Great Britain, New Zealand, Italy and South Africa. France is the current champion. Winners receive a trophy and a plaque to go with bragging rights.

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