Dozens of Food NI members have brought home dozens of stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards including two prestigious 3-star awards for Baronscourt Estate Wild Sika Venison French Rack and Hannan Meats’ Koji Pork Ribs.
In the 2 star section were En Place Foods’ Islander Kelp Salsa Verde; Morelli’s Cherry Ice Cream with Cherry Variegato and their Sicilian Pistachio Ice Cream; Maud’s Sea-Salted Pistachio and Roasted Piemonte IGP Hazelnut Ice Creams; Rooney Fish’s Millbay Oysters; Baronscourt Estate’s Wild Sika Venison Loin and Hannan Meats’ Miso Marinated Bone-in Pork Belly and their Miso Cured Bone-in Bacon Belly, their Pork Loin Spice Rack, their Smoked Bacon Rack and their Sugar Pit Bacon Ribs and Quails’ Fine Foods 28 Day Himalayan Salt Aged Sharing Sirloin.
Burren Balsamics took home 2 stars for their Black Garlic infused Balsamic Vinegar of Modena as did Carol’s Stock Market for her Vegetable Stock. There were also 2 stars for En Place Foods Shio-Koji Black Garlic Ketchup, Annie’s Delights’ Rhubarb and Ginger Jam and Granny Shaw’s Fudge Factory’s Irish Sea Salt Tablet. Ann’s Pantry of Larne won 2 stars each for their Stout Wheaten and their Speltmeal Soda. Deli Muru’s Spiced Sugar Snap biscuits and The Buchas’ Dog’s Hoptimist Kombucha impressed with more 2 star awards as did SD Bell who got 3 star awards for Ethiopian Sidamo G1 Anasora Coffee, China White Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls and Pu Erh Tea. Thompson’s Irish Breakfast Tea got 2 stars as well as Kilmegan Apple Juice and Hercules Brewing Company’s Yardsman Pineapple Haze NE IPA and Yardsman Tropical American Rye Ale.
“The current pandemic may be continuing but the Great Taste stars shine brightly for Northern Ireland’s producers who, once again, have demonstrated what a talented region we are when it comes to food and drink. It is so pleasing to see their innovation, hard work and great taste acknowledged in these prestigious awards,” said Food NI CEO, Michele Shirlow. The Great Taste 2020 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the virtual Great Taste Golden Fork awards event, set to take place in October.
This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule. This necessitated a swift and comprehensive reinvention of the Great Taste process to ensure that robust judging standards were maintained and the quality of feedback was not compromised, all in time to provide a much-needed boost for food and drink producers during the all-important Christmas period.