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Freshly Ground PR is a PR and marketing agency based in Bath, specialising in independent food and drink, hospitality and lifestyle brands.



Here are some of the latest press releases from the people we work with. If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like more information, images or samples, please get in touch.


Unwrap the charms of cheddar this Christmas with a tasting box from Quicke’s

Amy Brice

cheddar box

Packed with five Devon-sent wedges, ready to take cheese lovers on a journey in cheddar, the Cheddar Tasting Box from Quicke’s is the perfect gift for curd nerds this Christmas. Celebrating the diversity and complexities of Quicke’s award-winning range of clothbound cheddars, the box also contains a flavour profile wheel to help festive folk identify the unique tasting notes and aromas within.

A chance to indulge and geek out on Britain’s undisputed cheeseboard champ, the Cheddar Tasting Box includes the full suite of Quicke’s cheddars. From the smooth and rich 3-month matured Buttery, through to Mature, Extra Mature and the 2-year matured Vintage Cheddar, the UK’s longest aged clothbound cheddar, every wedge brings its own unique characteristics to the table.

Accompanied by Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar, cold smoked using oak chips from trees grown on the Quicke’s estate, the tasting box is a true expression of the landscape around Home Farm. Whether nestled on a cheeseboard, grated onto gratin or paired with cider, sloe gin, whisky or wine, these cheddars will be well at home once the presents are unwrapped and the season of greeting and eating gets underway.

The Quicke’s Cheddar Tasting Box is available to buy from www.quickes.co.uk, priced at £25, and contains a flavour wheel, cheddar tasting notes, a ‘What’s in a Wedge’ guide and five 200g wedges; Buttery Clothbound Cheddar, Mature Clothbound Cheddar, Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar, Vintage Clothbound Cheddar and Oak Smoked Cheddar.

A moment to relish… The Quirky Cook wins Great Taste Ambient Product of the Year

Amy Brice

Fig relish

Paving a new way for preserves, Derby-based The Quirky Cook is now celebrating its runaway success at this year’s Great Taste awards, with its punchy and pioneering Honeyed Fig Relish with Black Garlic winning the Golden Fork for Ambient Product of the Year. Impressing the judging panel with its “bright explosive flavour” and “wonderful complexity”, this brand new product came out on top to claim one of Great Taste’s most fiercely competed honours.

Founder, Kay Hawkins collected the award at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner earlier this month, where the Great Taste 3-star winning Honeyed Fig Relish was named among this year’s Top 18 products and was also nominated for the Golden Fork for the best food or drink from the Midlands. Having been the first UK producer to launch condiments using black garlic back in 2016, three of The Quirky Cook’s black garlic relishes scooped Great Taste awards this year, with Honeyed Fig Relish joined by the 2-star winning Red Pepper & Apricot Relish and 1-star winning Apple & Date Relish.

Balancing the delicate sweetness of honey and figs with the earthy savoury notes of black garlic, the Honeyed Fig Relish had the Great Taste panel dreaming of smearing it on toast, crackers, cheese and gammon, with one judge saying it “would be perfect used with roasted root vegetables in the middle of winter.” Packed with fig seeds “which pop in your mouth”, adding “a crispy texture that you wouldn’t normally get with a chutney”, this innovative handmade product stood out from the crowd at the world’s most coveted food awards.

Kay Hawkins, founder of The Quirky Cook, explains:

“It’s been a whirlwind since our name was read out at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner, catapulting my fig relish from a lovingly honed kitchen creation to a critically acclaimed product that’s now in demand nationwide. It makes me so proud to have achieved this accolade while staying true to principles of honest food that my mum taught me when I was growing up and it just goes to show what can be achieved when treating natural ingredients with respect. I’ve always been driven by the desire to make people happy with my cooking, but it was my turn to smile at the Golden Forks – and I haven’t stopped since. This is a life changing moment for me and my boys and I can’t wait to share my award-winning preserves with as many people as possible!”

The Quirky Cook’s full range of black garlic relishes are available to purchase from www.thequirkycook.co.uk, as well as a growing number of independent retailers, RRP £4.50.

New range of pickled quail eggs launch, as flavour infusions pack a punch for Picklies

Amy Brice


Following months of preparation at The Pickling Shed in North Cadbury, Somerset, this weekend saw the launch of Picklies, a new range of products from Dan and Briony Wood, owners of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company. Unveiling the new brand at Speciality & Fine Food Fair between Sunday 2 and Tuesday 4 September, the industry got a first opportunity to sample six new flavours of pickled quail eggs, which have been designed and packaged to feel at home on the shelves of farm shops, delis and independent retailers nationwide.

Made with The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s multi award-winning Foraging Free free range quail eggs, whose huge aviaries go above and beyond the industry standard of ‘free to fly’, these little eggs punch way above their weight, with flavours ranging from the distinctive ‘Persiana’, containing cardamom, coriander seeds and rose, to the classic ‘Down the Pub’, packed with spring onion to make a perfect pairing for a pint of ale. Developed in the heart of the West Country, Picklies also makes use of ingredients from local producers, including From Dorset with Love’s award-winning Dorsetshire Sauce.

Dan Wood, co-founder of Picklies, comments:

“After so much time pickling, testing and packing, it was great to get onto the stand at Speciality & Fine Food Fair, talking to potential buyers who are looking to be inspired by new ingredients and trends. The quail egg is small but always feels like a treat, making it the perfect egg for entertaining, which I think has a lot to do with its enduring popularity. Ready to eat, and requiring no preparation, Picklies will help broaden this little egg’s horizons, and we look forward to seeing our colourful jars gracing many shelves across the country very soon.”

For more information on The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk.

Slow and steady wins the race, as pork steak snaffles Golden Fork

Amy Brice

Pipers Farm

Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, has reached its grand finale for 2018. The Great Taste Golden Fork for the best food or drink from the South West was presented to Pipers Farm from Cullompton, Devon for its “deliciously juicy, beautifully soft and fabulously piggy” Saddleback Neck Steak. Slow-grown and hung on the bone for three weeks, this “immense” Saddleback Neck Steak made the Great Taste judges very happy, describing it as a “really delicious thing” with a “fantastic depth of flavour”.

Out of a record breaking 12,634 products entered into Great Taste 2018, the Saddleback Neck Steak, which is produced in harmony with nature to allow the native west country Saddleback pigs to enjoy a natural life, was celebrated as the best tasting product in its region at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 2 September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.

The Golden Fork from the South West was sponsored by Fresh Montgomery and also nominated this year was a Great Taste 3-star Seville Orange Marmalade & Vino del Naranja from Gloucester-based The Artisan Kitchen and Todenham Manor Farm’s 3-star winning 28-Day Dry Aged Rib of Beef on the Bone, which is produced in Moreton-in-Marsh.

For more information on Great Taste, visit greattasteawards.co.uk.

Contribution to Fine Food award presented to Charles Campion

Amy Brice

Charles Campion

Esteemed food writer and restaurant critic, Charles Campion was presented with a Contribution to Fine Food award last night at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner, a special trophy introduced this year to recognise a knowledgeable individual who promotes small food producers with integrity.

With more than two decades of World Cheese Awards and Great Taste judging experience, Charles Campion has blind-tasted thousands of products for the world’s most coveted food awards, believing strongly in the value of constructive feedback to help producers refine their food and drink offerings. Having had a hand in awarding so many Golden Forks in years gone by, Charles was presented with his own award by the Guild of Fine Food, at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 2 September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to celebrate the grand finale of Great Taste 2018.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, explains:

“There is an increasing emphasis on celebrity in food and, I’m afraid, that’s combined with naivety as to where it comes from, what seasons mean and how varieties and breeds make a difference. Experts like Charles are a rare thing, as he does understand how our food and drink should be made, and his veracity needs to be celebrated. As this emphasis on celebrity rises in food and drink, there is a risk that such genuine knowledge amongst critics, food writers and journalists will fade, resulting in an ignorance about food and where it comes from, so sources of food knowledge like Charles need to be recognised, revered and rewarded for their contribution. We’re absolutely delighted to present this award to Charles and hope that it inspires our industry to preserve the authenticity that lies at the heart of fine food.”

For more information on Great Taste, visit greattasteawards.co.uk.

Dorset Sea Salt Co. lands The Seed Fund 2018 prize

Amy Brice

sea salt

From the crashing waves of the Jurassic Coast to the bright spotlight of the London stage, Dorset Sea Salt Co. has been named The Seed Fund 2018 champion, supported by The Collaborators and Great Taste. 25-year-old founder, Jethro Tennant will now embark on a year-long journey of business development and mentoring with the philanthropic project’s hand-picked industry experts, as he aims to transform his big idea into big business.

Coming just one year after Jethro made the leap from humble hobby to fledgling producer, with the help of mentorship and a small loan from The Prince's Trust, the prize completes a remarkable 12 months for this ambitious south west start-up. Beginning when Jethro discovered the historic and cultural significance of salt production in Dorset, followed shortly after by the first buckets of water being lugged up the beach by hand, Dorset Sea Salt Co. has restored an ancient tradition in the county, hand-harvesting exceptional sea salt on the Jurassic Coast. There are now eight flavours available, including Celery, Chilli and Beetroot & Apple.

Jethro collected his trophy on Sunday 2 September at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner, held at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel, coming out on top among a shortlist including Green Lady sparkling tea from London, Made for Drink bar snacks from Berkshire, Bristol-based Norty Puds and Cornwall’s Rathlee Distilling Company. Applauded for his progress and commitment throughout The Seed Fund Academy’s summer programme of sessions on funding, finance, law, distribution, branding, PR, marketing and more, Jethro was named The Seed Fund’s sixth champion in front of the great and good of the food and drink industry.

Jethro explains:

“It’s been an incredible journey from day one with The Seed Fund and I’m truly honoured to have taken the top prize among such a great group of start-ups. Alongside the support and guidance of The Seed Fund’s mentors, the ideas, challenges and experiences of other Academy members has been both invaluable and inspiring. I can’t quite believe how far I’ve come with my geeky hobby over the past 12 months, but it just goes to show what can be achieved with a good idea and the right people around you. I’ve got big plans for Dorset Sea Salt Co., from expanding distribution in the short-term to building an education centre further down the line, and I know that this prize will bring all of those ambitions that bit closer. I’d like to say a big thanks to The Seed Fund, The Collaborators, Great Taste and all the mentors for their support. Year two is set to be another big one!”

Jayne Noblet of The Collaborators, founder of The Seed Fund, adds:

“Hats off to Jethro for his sterling work throughout The Seed Fund Academy this year. Our Class of 2018 was outstanding, so our finalists did extremely well to reach this stage, but Dorset Sea Salt Co. stood out and made some great progress over the summer, really encapsulating what The Seed Fund is all about. Jethro has done so much in his first year of business, creating a superb product, establishing a strong brand and putting the foundations in place to build the business, and I know our mentors see huge potential in this start-up, which they will do all they can to help it realise. I hope Jethro enjoyed his moment on the Great Taste stage tonight alongside some of the UK and Ireland’s most respected producers – straight back to work tomorrow!”

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

Volcanic pili nuts erupt onto UK food scene, as next level nuts named Great Taste Supreme Champion

Amy Brice

pili nuts

Out of a record breaking 12,634 products entered into Great Taste 2018, the top honour of Great Taste Supreme Champion has been awarded to Premium Pili Nuts with Ecuadorian Cacao from Mount Mayon Brand, based in Olongapo City in the Philippines, a product that also received the Golden Fork for Best Imported Food. The Great Taste judges were “nuts about these nuts”, which “explode in the mouth with a fun mouthfeel and warm nut flavour”.

Wild harvested from the volcanic soil surrounding Mount Mayon, using a sustainable and environmentally friendly process that goes back thousands of years, these Vitamin E and Omega-rich pili nuts are pre-sprouted in purified mountain water before undergoing a 17-step SloDry process to retain all the flavour and nutrients. Super-satiating and naturally high in fibre, protein and magnesium, these Ecuadorian cocoa dusted pili nuts have an “ethereal texture”, “toasty cereal flavour” and “incredible creaminess” making them a “stunning” and “moreish” healthy snack.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains:

“Great Taste celebrates everything from good old-fashioned fodder to the fun and funky from far flung corners of the world, but it’s always so exciting when a new product bursts onto the scene and demands our judges’ attention. These pili nuts are a great example of the scope and diversity of food and drink available in the UK and Ireland today, demonstrating how fine food producers are evolving and experimenting to meet the changing tastes and dietary needs of consumers. Pili nuts are already very popular across Asia and Mount Mayon Brand clearly sees the UK as a vibrant and growing market to enter, even with the uncertainties of Brexit, which is positive news for us all in food. We wish them every success in cracking the UK market and are certain that the Great Taste Supreme Champion gong will help grab the attention of retailers, buyers and distributors alike”.  

Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, reached its grand finale at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 2 September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel London, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.

The full list of Golden Fork trophies for 2018:

Charcuterie Product of the Year sponsored by Fine Food Digest Charcuterie Campaign

Carnicas Ibericas Mozarbez for Iberian Bellota Ham

Golden Fork for Best Imported Food sponsored by ABP Cahir

Mount Mayon Brand for Premium Pili Nuts with Ecuadorian Cacao

Nigel Barden Heritage Award sponsored by Dawn Meats

Southport Potted Shrimps for Southport Potted Shrimps by James Peet

Ambient Product of the Year sponsored by Petty Wood

The Quirky Cook for Honeyed Fig Relish with Black Garlic

Golden Fork from Ireland sponsored by Bord Bia

Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland for Signature Tastes Smoked Rack of Bacon

Golden Fork from Northern Ireland sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland

Natural Umber for Natural Umber Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Golden Fork from the Midlands

Macneil's Smokehouse for Macneil’s Beech Wood Smoked Salmon

Golden Fork from the South West sponsored by Fresh Montgomery

Pipers Farm for Saddleback Neck Steak

Golden Fork from Wales sponsored by Food and Drink Wales

Caws Teifi Cheese for Celtic Promise

Golden Fork from Scotland sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink

The Argyll Smokery for Kiln Roasted Salmon

Golden Fork from East Anglia sponsored by Shire Foods of Norfolk

Capsicana for Brazilian Chilli and Coconut Sauce

Golden Fork from the North of England sponsored by Fine Food Show North

Rogue Artisan Ice Cream for Sicilian Bronte Pistachio Ice Cream

Golden Fork from London & the South East sponsored by Tenuta Marmorelle

Terra Rossa for Terra Rossa Baba's Rashi & Dibis with Sesame Seeds

Small Artisan Producer of the Year sponsored by Selfridges

Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshments

Great Taste Producer of the Year sponsored by Partridges

Wessex Mill

Contribution to Fine Food

Charles Campion

For more information on Great Taste, visit greattasteawards.co.uk.

Fifth generation flour mill rises to the top - Wessex Mill named Great Taste Producer of the Year

Amy Brice

Great Taste Producer of the Year

Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, has reached its grand finale for 2018. Great Taste Producer of the Year was presented to Wessex Mill from Wantage, Oxfordshire and fourth generation flour miller, Paul Munsey collected the trophy on Sunday 2 September at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.

The Munsey family of Wessex Mill has been milling for over 100 years, and this year alone scooped Great Taste accolades for 11 products, including its Great Taste 3-star winning Six Seed Bread Flour, 2-star Wholemeal Spelt Flour and 1-star Pasta and Pizza Flour. Sourcing their wheat locally and using a traditional roller milling process, Paul and his daughter Emily, who is studying to become the fifth-generation flour miller at Wessex Mill, produce exceptional quality flour, waving the flag for the wheat farmers that surround the Oxfordshire-based mill.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains:

“Wessex Mill is a great example of a family business that is going from strength to strength, while staying true to tradition and heritage. We’re absolutely delighted to present Wessex Mill with this award and hope that this outstanding Great Taste achievement helps to cement its reputation as a leading speciality producer in the UK.”

The Great Taste Producer of the Year award was sponsored by Partridges.

For more information on Great Taste, visit greattasteawards.co.uk.

Food and drink start-ups raise a glass, as The Seed Fund reveals Final Five

Amy Brice

The Seed Fund Final 5

The Seed Fund has announced its Final Five today, with just a handful of food and drink start-ups now left in the running to win the philanthropic project’s annual prize. Fresh from a packed summer of learning with The Seed Fund Academy, supported by The Collaborators and Great Taste, these ambitious entrepreneurs will now go head-to-head as they pitch to the mentors one last time, for their chance to win a full year of tailored business support, estimated to be worth over £100,000.

From bubbles to bar snacks, this year’s Final Five are all producers of distinctly grown-up treats. The shortlist includes Rathlee Distilling Company, makers of Latin American rum blended with pure Cornish water, Green Lady from London, the UK’s first ever sparkling tea, and Dorset Sea Salt, hand harvested from the Jurassic Coast. Made for Drink, based in Berkshire, brings its premium bar snacks to the fold, all designed to pair perfectly with alcoholic drinks, while Norty Puds from Bristol completes the line-up, with its indulgent single-serve pudding pots that are free from gluten, dairy, soya and refined-sugar.

These fledgling food and drink start-ups will now prepare one final pitch to take this year’s trophy, before The Seed Fund Academy Champion is announced on Sunday 2 September at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner, held at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London. Pulling together everything they have learned during the Academy sessions, from approaching retail and raising investment to marketing, PR and social media, each producer will explain how they will turn their big ideas into big business as they make their case for the top prize.

Jayne Noblet, founder of The Seed Fund and owner of The Collaborators, comments:

“With over 200 entries into The Seed Fund Academy 2018, the bar has definitely been raised this year, so our Final Five have stood out against some serious competition to get this far. It’s been such a joy to watch them develop throughout the Academy sessions, both through the guidance of our mentors and by sharing ideas and challenges throughout the process, and I’m confident that they now have the tools, knowledge and network required to make the leap from start-up to serious player. We’re now just five pitches away from finding our 2018 champion and I can’t wait for The Seed Fund to take its place at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner once again. It’s a big night for everyone and our winner will take the stage alongside some of the UK and Ireland’s most respected producers, catapulting them into the spotlight as they embark on the next leg of their journey.”

This year’s Seed Fund Academy Champion will be announced on Sunday 2 September at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner, held at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel.

The Seed Fund will also be hosting a series of ‘Start-Up Spotlight’ sessions at Speciality & Fine Food Fair this year, taking place on the Food for Thought Stage from 3:30pm-4:15pm on each day of the show, which runs from Sunday 2 to Tuesday 4 September. Featuring ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentations from nine start-ups, the winner will receive a free stand at next year’s show, as well as a range of business support tools. Visitors can meet The Seed Fund team and Academy members on Stands 2880-2887, as ‘Seed Street’ makes its first appearance at the exhibition.

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.

World Cheese Awards 2018 opens for entry

Amy Brice

Carlos Yescas World Cheese Awards judging.jpg

The World Cheese Awards will open for entry on Wednesday 5 September, with organisers, the Guild of Fine Food, expecting a record-breaking 3,500 cheeses to be judged in Bergen, Norway on Friday 2 November.

Dedicated only to cheese, with no other dairy products judged, the World Cheese Awards is the largest cheese-only competition on the planet and will this year form part of a brand new festival, Matnasjonen Norge. Taking place at Bergen’s iconic Grieg Hall, the 31st edition of the awards will be set against the backdrop of Norway’s finest food and drink, including highlights such as Kraftkar from Tingvollost, which took the World Cheese Awards’ top prize in 2016.

As the international cheese community gathers, entrants from over 30 different countries will be looking to showcase their cheese on a world stage, hoping to land a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Super Gold award. An epic celebration of all things cheese, the World Cheese Awards will bring together over 230 buyers, retailers, writers and makers from every corner of the globe, to judge every entry in a single day and ultimately crown this year’s World Champion Cheese.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, explains:

“With 30 years now under our belt, we’re very excited to be visiting Norway for the first time, in partnership with HANEN, to stage the largest cheese-only event that the world has ever seen. This global celebration of cheese leaves a lasting legacy each and every year, for its hosts as well as its winners, and we feel incredibly proud to be taking a headline slot at Matnasjonen Norge, as the country salutes its farmers, producers, chefs and retailers. With cheeses from six continents on their way to Bergen this year, we’ll be bringing a truly international edge to the festival, but I feel confident that Norway’s fantastic cheesemakers will be grabbing a few gongs along the way.”

For more information on World Cheese Awards, please visit: www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards.

Hens continue winning run, with more Great Taste stars for the girls

Amy Brice

Great Taste award winning hens free range eggs.jpg

Following the announcement of this year’s Great Taste results, The Traditional Free Range Egg Company is celebrating more stars for its multi award-winning hens, with Rambling Free hens eggs achieving a 2-star and Birds & Herds hens eggs taking home a 1-star accolade. Both brands were created to shine a spotlight on the UK’s small traditional free range egg farmers, so these latest awards provide further evidence of the exceptional quality and taste that can be achieved using the flat deck system.

The Great Taste judges heaped praise upon Rambling Free, with comments including “they definitely love their birds!” and “what a good egg!” The panel agreed that “the eggs look gorgeous with a rich golden yolk”, describing the product as “a classic example of what an egg should be”. Birds & Herds, a brand of free range eggs produced within a traditional mob grazing system, also impressed the judges, who applauded their “vivid daffodil yellow yolk with a lovely rich and long-lasting flavour”, and ultimately concluded that “we'd be very happy to have one - or two - of these for breakfast!”

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains:

“Our traditional girls have smashed it once again this year and as ever, we’re very proud to have the Great Taste stamp of approval for small independent farmers using the time-honoured flat deck method. Every egg from The Traditional Free Range Egg Company has a story behind it - from Rambling Free’s support for the UK’s small traditional free range egg farmers to Birds & Herds re-establishing the natural order of grazing animals and poultry working in harmony with the land - but the story is nothing without a delicious product to back it up. These Great Taste awards are a signpost to the exceptional quality of our products and we hope this will encourage more and more consumers to choose an egg that supports the family-run farms that we work with.”

For more information on The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk.

Cheesemaker seeing stars, as Great Taste reveals more goat’s cheese glory

Amy Brice

Goat's cheese 3 star award Great Taste.jpg

Quicke’s has landed yet more honours today following the announcement of this year’s Great Taste results, with the Devon-based cheesemaker taking home stars for six of its products, including a coveted 3-star award for its Goat's Milk Clothbound Cheese. With only 192 products named in 2018’s 3-star list, the goat’s cheese is now one of the UK’s most celebrated cheeses, following a raft of awards already achieved this year.

Among the other winning wedges were Home Farm’s first ever mixed milk cheese, Lady Prue, taking a 2-star award, and the firm favourite Mature Clothbound Cheddar, which also scooped a 2-star accolade. 1-star awards went to both Vintage Clothbound Cheddar and Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar, as well as the Slightly Salted Cow’s Whey Butter, a rich and creamy product made following a rare heritage recipe, using whey cream, a by-product of the cheesemaking process.

Enticing the Great Taste judges with its “lovely and promising aroma with a strong note of horseradish on the nose”, the distinctly different goat’s cheese was described as “an interesting cheese with a distinct flavour”, as it became one of just a handful of cheeses to take top marks this year. Commenting on the cheese’s “brightly acidic paste and clean taste, with a sweetness”, the panel heaped praise upon the 6-month matured hard goat’s cheese during the rigorous blind-tasting process.

Mary Quicke MBE commented:

“A 3-star Great Taste award is a rare privilege, so we are truly honoured to have our goat’s cheese named among this year’s top food and drink. Having already taken medals at the British Cheese Awards and Artisan Cheese Awards this year, our goat’s cheese is certainly staking its claim as a force to be reckoned with at the cheese counter. Not to be outdone, our cheddars and whey butter have amassed a lovely haul of Great Taste stars, and Lady Prue even popped up with a 2-star at the first time of asking! It’s very rewarding to achieve such badges of honour and the Great Taste stars certainly help shine a spotlight on these rolling Devon hills, as we continue to fly the flag for traditional clothbound cheddar, both in the UK and overseas.”

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.

Properly free range meat stars at Great Taste, as Pipers Farm lands four awards

Amy Brice

PIPERS FARM pigs Matt Austin.jpg

Devon-based online butcher, Pipers Farm is celebrating a healthy haul of awards today as the Great Taste results are announced, taking home a highly coveted 3-star award for its Saddleback Neck Steak, alongside three other accolades. Described by the judges as “beautifully soft, with full frontal flavour”, the pork steaks are one of only 192 food and drink products to be named in this year’s 3-star list, out of over 12,600 entries.

Other Great Taste stars have gone to products across the farm, with a 2-star rating awarded to the Greig family’s Properly Free Range Duck, which spends its life roaming amongst lush Devon pasture, eating a natural diet of forage and whole grains. Pipers Farm’s Properly Free Range Chicken, a bird that lives twice the length of most others, scooped a 1-star, while its Grass Fed Red Ruby Oxtail also took a 1-star, heralding the well-deserved comeback of this rich, gelatinous, nutritious and excellent value cut of meat.

It was the pork that was picked out for the highest praise though, described by the Great Taste judges as a “piggy steak with a gentle texture and gamey notes on the nose and at the end, a really delicious thing”. The panel made note of the Saddleback Neck Steak’s “fantastic depth of flavour” and “great steak-like texture with porky complexity”, agreeing that “you can tell the time that has gone into the hanging” as they awarded the product Great Taste’s highest star rating.

Peter Greig, founder of Pipers Farm, explains:

“We’re motivated by many things at Pipers Farm, from animal welfare and sustainable land management to the future of family run farms, but above all else our meat needs to taste fantastic. Pipers Farm meat must be a joy to eat in order to showcase the benefits of farming in harmony with nature, so we’re delighted to have this massive stamp of approval from Great Taste. I’m always pleased to see less high profile cuts, like our Red Ruby Oxtail, getting their moment in the spotlight and we know that 3-star awards are like gold dust, so we’re over the moon with that one. Our Saddleback pigs are reared by the Snell family, who have recently revitalised their farm through the re-introduction of traditional farming practices – and everyone is winning. The family is happy, the pigs are properly farrow and live outside for their entire lives and the land is benefiting into the bargain. Last and by no means least, we’ve also got some great tasting and nutritious meat for our families to enjoy.”

Pipers Farm’s Saddleback Neck Steak, Properly Free Range Duck, Properly Free Range Chicken and Grass Fed Red Ruby Oxtail are all available to order from www.pipersfarm.com.

Great Taste 2018 results announced, revealing this year’s stars of food and drink

Amy Brice

GT18 Final Panel by Sam Pelly Kenny Tutt, Elly Curshen, Tom Hunt, Zoe Adjonyoh, Tom Herbert, Izy Hossack, Martha Collison.jpg

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.

Quicke’s publishes new journal, in celebration of This Land

Amy Brice

Quicke's cheese this land journal launch Gill Meller

Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s will publish a brand new journal this month entitled This Land, a tribute to Britain’s ancient rural landscape and traditions, from the people to the pastures. Taking a winding ramble through the seasons, the bookazine considers the ever shifting charms and challenges brought about by spring, summer, autumn and winter, taking many a detour along the way to look at themes such as foraging, pairing and science in the dairy.

Featuring pieces written by Mary Quicke MBE, reflecting on the land that her family has nurtured for 14 generations, This Land also contains contributions from a host of Quicke’s friends, including chefs Gill Meller and Ben Quinn, Slow Food UK’s Shane Holland, Dr Katharine Earnshaw from the University of Exeter and many more, as the journal tells a tale of tradition, terroir and taste.

Inspired by the hedgerows, woodlands and pastures that provide the foundation for every award-winning truckle that leaves the farm, the journal begins with an ode to the earth that lends itself to cheese. Opening with the words “This land has never really been ours”, the poem explores “the soft boundary between admiration and partnership”, a sentiment which runs through all of the subsequent pages, just as it does through everything that is done at Home Farm in the continued pursuit of crafting greatness from this little patch of Devon.

This Land is available to purchase from www.quickes.co.uk, priced at £15.

Free range festivities as traditional eggs triumph at Taste of the West

Amy Brice

Dan and Farmer Dudley seed chickens eggs free range Taste of the West

The Traditional Free Range Egg Company is celebrating yet more success following the release of this year’s Taste of the West awards, taking home two Golds and one Silver across its Free Collection, as owners, Dan and Briony Wood continue to fly the flag for traditional free range egg farming. Following up on its South West Producer of the Year trophy in 2017, the Somerset-based free range egg producer and supplier picked up Gold for both its Rambling Free hens eggs and Dabbling Free goose eggs, and Silver for its Waddling Free duck eggs, whilst its Foraging Free quail eggs were also highly commended.

Applauded for their appearance and taste, Dabbling Free goose eggs were described by the judges as “a great looking egg” with a “wonderfully creamy” texture and “excellently rounded” flavour. Meanwhile, Rambling Free hens eggs, produced using the traditional flat deck method, drew praise from the judges for the “glorious” colour of their rich and vibrant yolks, with the judges simply commenting, “they taste great”.

Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains:

“We’re overjoyed to see eggs from our Free Collection winning awards for another consecutive year and it’s a real testament to the consistency and quality of egg that can be produced using traditional farming methods. We have always believed that truly free range birds lay the best of the bunch, and we hope that these accolades will inspire like-minded family-run farms to resist the more industrialised methods that are now dominating free range egg production.”

For more information on The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, please visit www.thetraditionalfreerangeeggcompany.co.uk.

Inspired by nature, reusable coffee cup designs get the thumbs up

Amy Brice

Huskup resuable coffee cup Donna Sarah design

Entirely plastic free and crafted from the humble rice husk, Huskup’s reusable coffee cups have now become a canvas, inspiring designers to help the nation’s coffee lovers to say no to single use. An instant bestseller for Huskup, the ‘Thumbs Up’ design caught the mood of the moment and has set the tone for a range of other patterns inspired by nature.

Frome-based designer, Donna Sarah is the creative behind these concepts, and a full range of her designs is now available from Huskup. Representing fundamental features of the natural world, from the coastline to the woodlands to the mountains, each design also leaves space for the natural material of the rice husk to shine through. These new designs, named Pebbles, Sticks and Triangles, take a simple, geometric approach, appealing to an eco-audience who want a unique product to reuse time and again.

Richard Milton, founder of Huskup, explains:

“To create a truly green product, all the pieces of the eco-jigsaw have to fit together, so choosing to work with local designers who share our environmental principles was a no brainer. Donna’s designs have naturally struck a chord with reusable cup shoppers across the country, and with more design collaborations on the way, we plan to keep Huskup a desirable product that makes it easy and appealing to tackle disposable culture.”

Donna Sarah, designer of the mono Huskup range, adds:

“I was very impressed by the way that Huskup uses a by-product to resolve a pressing modern-day problem and it has been a great opportunity to be one of the first designers to work with the rice husk material. The thumbs up design is a little message to represent the good that the cup is doing for the earth, while with the other designs I took the planet itself as my starting point. Each one is based on an element of nature, the ground beneath us, the water and the trees, all things we must look to protect from now on.”

The Huskup comes in 12 different designs and can be purchased from www.huskup.com, priced at £10.95 each.

Carving out family time this Christmas with a truly traditional turkey

Amy Brice

Pipers Farm Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey

While many families continue to experiment with their Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year spreads, Devon-based online butcher, Pipers Farm has seen a 20-fold increase in demand for its Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey over the past seven years. Golden, plump and juicy, this traditional breed bird is the crowning glory of any festive table, feeding the whole family and more with succulent, seasonal and nutritious meat, which has been reared in harmony with nature.

Hatching in late spring and spending their first few weeks in a brooder, the slow-reared Bronze birds are free to roam the rolling Devon hillside all day long, building up a strong natural immunity without the need for antibiotics. With the Saddleback pigs as their neighbours, they spend their days foraging and exploring, while enjoying a natural diet of cereals, grass, nettles, fodder beet and cider apples before they are tucked up in a barn at night to protect them from predators. Once the birds reach natural maturity at around five or six months old, double the time given to mature industrially-reared birds, they are slaughtered, dry-plucked and hung for two weeks to develop a wonderful texture and depth of flavour.

Served with crispy, golden and fluffy potatoes, roasted in Pipers Farm’s Free Range Goose Fat, moreish Sausages Wrapped in Bacon, seasonal vegetables and homemade gravy using the giblets from the turkey, this Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey makes the perfect centrepiece for a Christmas plate worth the wait. Delivering comforting texture and flavour, as well as plenty of leftovers for stocks, sandwiches and curries, each turkey has been produced with the whole family in mind, just like every cut of meat produced by the Greigs since Pipers Farm was first established nearly three decades ago.

Pipers Farm’s Properly Free Range Bronze Turkey, which ranges from 5kg to 11kg, is available to order from early November at www.pipersfarm.com. £13.95/kg.

Quicke’s goat’s cheese grabs the gongs, as the awards stack up at Home Farm

Amy Brice

Goats cheese clothbound british awards artisan

Distinguished Devon-based cheesemaker, Quicke’s has scooped yet more silverware for the Home Farm trophy cabinet, including a hat trick of Golds at the Artisan Cheese Awards, five awards at the British Cheese Awards and two awards from Taste of the West. Adding to its impressive run of recent awards, the delightfully different Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese amassed accolades across the board, earning plaudits at all three.

Among the other trophied truckles were Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar, garnering Gold at the Artisan Cheese Awards, and Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese, which collected Silver at the British Cheese Awards. As the results rolled in, wins went to wedges across the entire Quicke’s range, from a Taste of the West Gold for Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar to a British Cheese Awards Bronze for Lady Prue, Home Farm’s first ever mixed-milk cheese launched earlier this year.

Mary Quicke MBE commented:

“From our hybrid cows to the microflora in our maturing rooms, everything at Home Farm is driven by the desire to make outstanding cheese, crafting greatness from our little patch of Devon. These awards mean a lot to us all and are a great way to benchmark the work that we do, so it fills me with pride to see truckles from every corner of the cheese store winning prizes. Artistry has always run through our veins at Quicke’s, pushing us to experiment with and refine our craft, making it especially pleasing to see Lady Prue, our recently launched mixed-milk cheese, receive a Bronze medal in its first year at the British Cheese Awards. It takes many months, or more often years, of experimentation, hard work and reflection to craft a new cheese of this calibre and we really feel that all this love and care has paid off.”

Quicke’s awards 2018:

Artisan Cheese Awards

Gold – Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Gold – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

Gold – Oak Smoked Clothbound Cheddar

British Cheese Awards

Silver – Double Devonshire Clothbound Cheese

Bronze – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

Bronze – Lady Prue

Bronze – Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Bronze – Vintage Clothbound Cheddar

Taste of the West

Gold – Extra Mature Clothbound Cheddar

Silver – Goat’s Milk Clothbound Cheese

For more information on Quicke's, please visit www.quickes.co.uk.

Kind to the soil and the seas, new reusable coffee cup harnesses the humble rice husk

Amy Brice

Huskup environmental green reusable cup

Utilising an abundant waste material to make each takeaway tea, coffee or hot chocolate that bit greener, the new reusable cup from Huskup takes the humble rice husk from earth to earth. Durable and dishwasher safe, but entirely free from plastic, trees, BPA and melamine, this unassuming little cup is setting a new bar for the eco-friendly caffeine fix in the UK.

Beginning by saving large quantities of rice husks from the incinerator, currently just a small dent in the 125 million tonnes that are produced globally each year, the hard-wearing Huskup is designed to make a big impact on the country’s single-use plastic problem that has overrun the oceans and heaped yet more pressure on landfill sites. From cafés and canteens to the daily dash for the door each morning, a Huskup in-hand can help reduce the 2.5 billion takeaway cups that are discarded each year in Britain.

Looking beyond the here and now, the Huskup can also return to the earth at the end of its useful life, biodegrading fully through microbial action. Certified to European compostability standards (EN 13432), the cups are able to disintegrate naturally and go back to the land, entirely safe for seeds to germinate in the resulting compost. Reducing the need for millions of plastic-lined cups that are destined for landfill, incineration, the streets or the seas, Huskup has a lifecycle designed with Mother Nature in mind.

The Huskup comes in 12 different designs and can be purchased from www.huskup.com, priced at £10.95 each.