Following more than 65 days of judging, the results of the world’s most coveted food awards, Great Taste, have been released, with many food and drink producers in the UK and beyond now celebrating. Out of a record breaking 12,634 products to be judged in 2018, 4,653 were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and of those products, 192 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,207 received a 2-star and 3,254 were given a 1-star.
With a more diverse line up of food and drink products than ever before, this year’s Great Taste awards list is peppered with some truly unique and unusual products, such as the Great Taste 3-star winning Mount Mayon Premium Pili Nuts with Ecuadorian Cacao from Subic Superfood Incorporated in the Philippines, The Birch Syrup Company’s North Pennine Birch Syrup, which took a Great Taste 2-star back to Durham, and the Great Taste 1-star Deer Jerky from Wild Game Meat in Suffolk.
Emerging themes among this year’s Great Taste winners include big success for imported products, a strong showing for the UK and Ireland’s farmers and more stars than ever before for fermented food and drink. Among the more traditional products to see stars this year are a Great Taste 3-star Saddleback Neck Steak from Devon-based Pipers Farm, Great Taste 2-star Oatcakes, handmade in Aberdeenshire by JG Ross, and Pearson’s Cider’s Great Taste 1-star Medium Dry Cider, which is made in Warwickshire.
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 a Golden Fork for their region. These final honours, including the Great Taste 2018 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner on Sunday 2 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 vinegar, granola, bacon or cheese 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 final panel of judges this year included; MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2018 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 across the country.
As the judges searched for the stars of 2018, waste was kept to a minimum, with unused products being donated to local food banks and hampers made up of excess products for local businesses to raffle in aid of charities. No plastic plates or cutlery were used during the judging rounds, reducing plastic waste by almost 100%. The Guild of Fine Food also donates surplus computer equipment, used to record the judges’ comments, to community-based projects across the UK, which are then refurbished and used to facilitate after school clubs and many other initiatives designed to support underprivileged families.
For more information on Great Taste, please visit www.greattasteawards.co.uk.