Food NI Producer Members sweep the boards at the Great Taste Awards

We’re just bursting with pride here at Food NI. No fewer than 23 of our Producer Members have won Gold at the prestigious Great Taste Awards.

Hannan Meats of Moira – last year’s Great Taste Supreme Champion with Moyallan Guanciale has triumphed again. That Himalayan Salt Chamber has certainly earned its keep. Hannan’s entry of Salt Aged Rack of Glenarm Shorthorn beef gained 3 stars. In Great Taste Land, that means “Exquisite, Wow, Taste That!”

One judge said “It leaves me speechless.  It is absolutely a revelation” while another judge sat in silence, slowly savouring every last morsel of the beef before declaring it “incredible.  Buttery, melt in the mouth, full of long flavours and excellent fat”.

Also in the 3 star category were a number of other salt aged products; Euro Angus Cote De Boeuf, Euro Angus Fiorentina T-Bone,  Glenarm Shorthorn Fiorentina T-Bone, Euro Angus Sirloin, Seasoned Fiorentina T-Bone and Salt aged sirloin. A whopping 44 stars in total were awarded for 25 Hannan Meat products.

Also on the list of 3-star winners, it was double whammy for En Place Foods UK from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone  for its Sea Buckthorn Berry and Lime Jam a product which judges described as “an explosion of fabulous flavours” and Sea Salted Caramel with Fennel Pollen.  Four other condiments were also recognized. Well done, Jilly Dougan!

Bruce’s Hill Farm Shop took away four Gold Star; one for steak, two for sausages and one burger. Dale Farm impressed with their Dromona Butter, Cheddars and their Loseley Meadow range. Thompson Tea did the business again. Their new fruit blends like Turkish Apple went down a storm in a bone china teacup. Judges loved the Yellow Door’s Cumin and Coriander sausage roll and Beef Cheek Pie.

We all know how good Irwin’s Nutty Krust is. The judges appreciated it and three of their Rankin’s Selection breads too. MacIvor’s Dry Cider and McKee’s fish cakes were a hit as was the Heatherlea’s Brown Spelt Soda.  Mash Direct’s Mashed Potato and Bubble and Squeak Mash Pot went down well and Suki Tea took home four Stars.

Kettyle’s Dry-Aged Lamb Rack with Marrow Malt had them salivating.  Their Guinness Stincotta Ossobucco, Dry Cured Collar Bacon Steaks and Tomahawk steaks also hit home.

Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil 1 star, Glastry Farm 1 star for three ice-creams and 2 stars for Raspberry Sorbet

Forthill Farm took 3 for Pork Shoulder, Sausage and Fillet Steak. Two awards for newbies KookyCook Fresh Pesto and Basil Pesto. Three coffees and two teas from Bailies got gongs and Holmes Delicatessan Flakemeal Biscuits were universally liked.

Whites Oats won 11 awards (they liked their Steel Cut as much as their newer convenience packs) while the Armagh Cider Company got 3 and a new one for their Berry Cider. Linden’s got 5 for meat products including Lamb Shish and Rose Veal Sirloin.

The Good Food and Wine Company’s Marmalade with 24 Carat gold Leaf was a winner as were two of their juices.

We’re so proud of all our Producer Members. These really are the Food Oscars. By their own admission to win a Great Taste 1-star award is a great achievement, to win 2-stars means that many judges have been bowled over by the product, and to win a 3-star Great Taste award is comparable to a chef winning Michelin stars. It simply is seen in the world of fine food as a hallmark of taste, quality and excellence.