Great Taste, the world’s most trusted food and drink awards, has reached its grand finale for 2020, with the Great Taste Golden Fork from the South West presented to Capreolus Fine Foods from Rampisham, Dorset for its Smoked Pancetta.
Using age-old curing techniques combined with a flair for flavour, Capreolus Fine Foods produces its range of English artisan charcuterie from locally bred and reared meat, selecting traditional and rare breeds wherever possible. Made from free-range pork bellies, which is cured, fermented, air-dried and smoked over beech for a soft smoky flavour, the Smoked Pancetta was described as “faultless” by the Great Taste judges, who enjoyed its “sweet, meaty flavour with a good smoky background” and “wave after wave of herbs.”
Having impressed at every stage of the blind-tasted judging process, as a record-breaking 12,777 entries were assessed over 14 weeks of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, the “proud and unashamedly piggy” Smoked Pancetta was celebrated as the best tasting product in the South West during the virtual Great Taste Golden Fork award ceremony on Thursday 22 October.
Taking place across the Guild of Fine Food’s social media channels and website, the online event brought together food lovers, producers, retailers, buyers and chefs to discover this year’s stars of food and drink, providing a vital boost for the industry as the nation moves towards the most important Christmas period in a generation. Held later in the year than usual, after the lockdown interrupted judging just one week into the schedule, the Golden Fork trophy announcements are the final instalment in a Great Taste calendar that has been reinvented at every stage, in order to stimulate much-needed consumer support for independent retail and hospitality over the challenging months ahead.
This year’s 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 tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork trophy winners and the Great Taste 2020 Supreme Champion.
The Golden Fork from the South West was sponsored by Bishop Fleming and also nominated this year were the Great Taste 3-star winners; Jess’s Ladies Organic Double Cream from Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk in Hardwicke and Pink Gin Marmalade from The Artisan Kitchen in Gloucester.