Following 14 weeks of judging, the results of the world’s most trusted food and drink awards, Great Taste, have been released, with many producers in the South West now celebrating. Out of a record breaking 12,777 entries from 106 different countries, 42% were awarded a highly prized Great Taste accolade and a remarkable 441 are based in the South West.
Among the Great Taste 3-star winners from the South West are a number of products fresh from the dairy’s door, including; Jersey Curd from The Old Cheese Room in Corsham, described by judges as “silky and smooth, perfectly firm yet soft”, with “a wonderful combination of lactic acidity and creaminess”; the “creamy, rich and thick” Dorset Strained Yoghurt – Whole Milk from The Dorset Dairy Co in Sturminster Newton, declared to be a “yogurt that deliverers everything you want”; Jess’s Ladies Organic Double Cream from Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm in Hardwicke, which is “convincingly luscious, rich, almost yellow, luxurious and full of flavour”, leading one judge to say this is a “double cream worthy of the name”; and Cornish Yarg from Lynher Dairies Cheese Company in Ponsanooth, a “fresh tasting, creamy and smooth” nettle-wrapped cheese that is “very moreish and deliciously clean and clear, with a dairy richness which carries and lingers well.”
While these producers enjoy 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 2020 Supreme Champion, will be announced at the virtual Great Taste Golden Fork awards event, set to take place in October.
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 cake, coffee, kippers or kombucha being judged, all products are removed from their packaging 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.
This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule. This necessitated a swift and comprehensive reinvention of the Great Taste process to ensure that robust judging standards were maintained and the quality of feedback was not compromised, all in time to provide a much-needed boost for food and drink producers during the all-important Christmas period.
The panel of judges included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, cook, writer, stylist and voice of modern vegetarian cooking, Anna Jones, celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro, Kavi Thakrar from Dishoom, food writer and cook, Xanthe Clay, and baker and author, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose. 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 2020 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