Irish Produce does the Country Proud at the Great Taste Awards 2016
The annual Great Taste Awards in London are a competitive affair. This year saw over 400 judges gathered from the food industry, to blind taste ten thousand entered products from all over the world. Only 35% of those entries actually walked away with accolades of 1, 2 and 3 stars which earmark this well respected benchmark award. Some of those are proud members of Good Food Ireland. We think that’s something to celebrate!
In Tipperary, Crossogue Preserves was another fantastic 3 star winner for the Damson Port Jelly, while Loganberry Jam and Rhubarb and Ginger Sugar Free Spread collected one 1 star each. Across the way, neighbours Inch House also won 1 star each for Inch House Traditional Porter Cake and Inch House Fresh Blood Pudding. Also in the county, Cooleeney Cheese received 2 presitigious stars for their superb Gleann Oir cheese,made with the milk of dairy cows which graze on rich Tipperary pasture.
Also in Tipperary we have a winner in Ponaire Roastery and Coffee Shop. Tony and Jennfier Ryan are well known for their top quality Ponaire Coffees. With great dedication to traceabilty and sourcing only the best coffee beans they truely have a quality product well deserved of a Great Taste Award.
The Foods of Athenry are no strangers to scooping Great Taste honours. A clutch of no less than five of their products picked up gongs this time round. The sought after 3 star went to Multiseed with Cumin Gourmet Sodabread Toasts, 2 star for Multiseed Sodabread Toasts, and 1 star each for Cranberry and Hazelnut and Honeyed Almond and Rosemary Gourmet Sodabread Toasts, with the seasonal Very Fruity Mince Pies rounding up the gang!
In Wexford, two local heroes of food production were among the proud winners. Wild About had a 2 star rating with Raspberry Chilli Chutney. One star each went to Ginger Beets, Wexford Honey, Fennel Syrup, Nettle Pesto and Fennel Cider Butter. Mr Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial won 2 stars in its first time out of the trap! A great achievement for Co. Wexford, all in all!
Down in deepest West Cork, Skeaghanore Duck from Ballydehob won 2 stars for the wonderful Confit of Duck Leg. A super win for a company which has been in business for many years and continues to work hard to develop and extend its range. On the Beara Peninsula, the Steele family were celebrating also. Milleens, Ireland’s first farmhouse cheese, is still attracting the attention of judges, with 1 star awarded for the cute Milleens ‘Dote’ (a fond word for a much loved child).
Durrus Cheese, is also one of the famous early farmhouse cheeses of Ireland, made by Jeffa Gill on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. Her wonderful Durrus Og was one of only 141 products which earned the highest most coveted 3 star rating in this year’s entries. Durrus Mini earned 2 stars.
In Cork City, On The Pig’s Back were on a winning streak with Chicken Liver Pate with Smoked Bacon and Port and the traditional Country Terrine both winning 2 stars.
The eastern part of the country produced several winners. Oriel Sea Salt harvested from the water at Clogherhead took a single star for the imaginative Oriel Teeling Whiskey Smoked Sea Salt. Keogh’s Crisps in north County Dublin got a star each for the Atlantic Sea Salt and Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps, and Shamrock and Sour Cream Crisps. In the capital, a winning star for The Butler’s Pantry creation of Beef, Barley and Stout Stew, which sounds absolutely delicious!
In Abbeyleix, Helen Gee of G’s Jams is one of our longstanding producer members. Her Rhubarb and Ginger Preserve was a 2 star winner in London! Neighbouring Kildare picked up a gong too, with Jane Russell’s Toasted Fennel and Chilli Sausages gaining 2 coveted stars. Co. Offaly’s The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers were also in luck with 2 stars for the divine wild Honeysuckle Shrub, made from honeysuckle blossom foraged from the Shinrone based farm of Gordon and Sharon Greene.
If you like Chocolate, look out for three Chocolate Garden of Ireland winners. One star each for Dark Chocolate with Ginger Pouch Box, Whole Hazelnut Praline Pouch Box and Dark Irish Whiskey Pouch Box. A hat trick from Co. Carlow!
Way out west, Carrygerry House in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare grabbed 1 star for the sumptuous homemade Chicken Liver Pate, which you can often enjoy on the menu at the house. Burren Smokehouse Hot Smoked Organic Salmon with Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup and Dill was a 2 star winner from Lisdoonvarna Co. Clare. And up in Mayo, Cuinneog Natural Buttermilk and Cuinneog Fermented Cream proved their worth with 2 shining stars apiece.
Phew! What a bunch of highly talented individuals! We’d like to wish our heartiest congratulations to all our Great Taste winners for 2016, and we hope to see even more accolades this time next year!