^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

Texas Aggies Know Their Meat

A panel of judges at the National Meat Association's second-ever University Cook-off this week was partial to the University of Idaho's bacon sausage, but a stuffed pork loin created by Texas A&M took the people's choice prize.

"I ate it, and I liked it," says operations manager Jen Kempis-Persons.

Apologizing for having already packed up her conference materials, Kempis-Persons said she didn't know what the Aggies used to stuff their winning "best-tasting meat product," but confirmed civilian judges took their responsibility very seriously.

"It's different when folks get to taste something students put their hearts into, versus something the hotel kitchen puts out," she said.

(Just to be clear, I got the sense Kempis-Persons was speaking metaphorically. I'm pretty sure she didn't mean that the mysterious pork loin stuffing was human.)

When the biennial University Cook-off was launched in 2009, there was only a people's choice award, which Texas Tech claimed with its blueberry sausage patties. The association this year added an expert panel to provide the nine competing student teams with more technical feedback.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

"They've been entrenched in the meat industry, so they know good meat when they have it," Kempis-Persons says. "You have to appeal to a group that likes to eat meat."

Products are scored on creativity and quality. While Kempis-Persons says none of the products entered in the last edition of the contest ever made it to market, she would buy Texas A&M's pork loin if it was available at her grocery store.

"Heck, I would definitely buy it and produce an elegant dinner," she says.

Follow us on Twitter: @cityofate.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.