CAN you make hogget sexy?
Anna Kelly, one of the producers and a driving force behind Deniliquin's high-end lamb brand, Plains Paddock Dorper, certainly thinks so.
And, if marketing is all about distinguishing a product, Ms Kelly has a distinct advantage.
She says the Dorper, little heard of in metropolitan eateries, offers a point of difference to chefs constantly looking out for the next big thing.
Plains Paddock Dorper lamb is already sold in top-notch Melbourne restaurants - including Cumulus Inc, The European, Circa the Prince, St Jude's Cellars and Next Door Diner - and now those same menus could feature the humble hogget.
Often overlooked, hogget - one to two-year-old - with its stronger flavour, delivered a more intense eating experience and was instantly attractive to chefs for this reason, Ms Kelly said.
But many chefs hadn't considered using hogget because lamb had been forced on them for so long.
"It's delicious and many chefs really don't really understand it," she said. "A lot of restaurants have decided not to use lamb because it's so expensive and went back to pork, fish, chicken and beef."
And because hogget cuts and prices are often the same as lamb, but from a bigger animal - the one pictured weighed in at 45kg dressed weight - hogget can seem pricey.
"We are working with a new distributor to keep the price as low as possible and aiming to get into more restaurants in Melbourne," Ms Kelly said.
"It can seem expensive, especially if they are not familiar with the product and have had lamb pushed at them for so long."
Ms Kelly was in Melbourne last week to promote the product and speak with chefs first hand.
"One chef was nearly doing somersaults he was so excited; he said he hadn't seen hogget since working in England and couldn't wait to get it on the menu."
"All chefs know how to break down an animal, but it's good to refresh them and, at the same time, it's a great chance to talk about what we do."