From the butchers to the smokehouse,  refined Irish classics shine at Great Taste

From the butchers to the smokehouse, refined Irish classics shine at Great Taste

Following more than 60 days of judging, the results of the world’s most coveted food awards, Great Taste, have just been released, with many producers in Ireland now celebrating. Out of a record breaking 12,336 products to be judged, 4,347 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and a remarkable 444 are based in Ireland.

Great Taste 3-star winners from Ireland include; James Whelan Butchers’ Pork Lard, a natural and clear lard made from slowly rendered back fat, with a “fabulous long lasting and clean pork flavour”; a Smoked Black Pudding traditionally made by Hugh Maguire and smoked over beechwood chippings for 45-minuites, resulting in a “gentle pepper warmth, saliva-inducing aroma and careful smoke, which whooshes across the tongue”; and Ballyhack Smokehouse’s “firm yet melt in the mouth” Smoked Salmon, which is slowly smoked over beech wood chips in a 70-year-old smoker giving it a “wonderful smokiness.”

While these producers revel in their success and begin displaying the unmistakable gold and black Great Taste logo, with 1-, 2- or 3- stars, on their award-winning products, they will wait with much anticipation to see if they also scoop the top awards for their region. These final honours, including the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Awards Dinner on Monday 4 September, to be held at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else, with no regard for branding or packaging. Whether it is gin, biscuits, sausages or coffee being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.

The panel of judges this year included; chef, food writer and author, Gill Meller, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, author and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker, Tom Herbert, and food writer and baking columnist, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the 2017 Top 50 Foods, which will be announced in August, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2017 Supreme Champion.

Details of this year’s winners can be found at www.greattasteawards.co.uk and a wide range of award winning products are available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retail outlets, as well as via Taste Shop (tasteshop.co.uk) which helps consumers source Great Taste award-winning products online.

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