South West food and drink producers have once again excelled themselves, and this week Taste of the West has had the honour of awarding the second phase of Gold, Silver and Commended awards in the 2021 Product Awards scheme, title sponsored by Old Mill. Please click here to view the complete list of winning products for 2021.
The annual Taste of the West Awards scheme, which has grown over the last two and a half decades to become the UK’s largest regional food and drink awards programme, helps food and drink businesses in the South West to thrive and succeed. The results of products entered into the first phase of judging were announced in June and today (28 July), results of products entered into the second phase of judging were announced. Next, all the highest scoring Gold award-winning products will be judged again to determine the top three products in each class. These top three products are then judged a third time to establish the overall champion product in each class. The 27 champion products then go on to battle it out for the coveted Supreme Champion Product of 2021.
Working independently due to Covid restrictions, Taste of the West judges were blown away this year by the exceptionally high standard of products from South West food and drink producers – with everything from pickles to eggs (though no pickled eggs), the quality of entries is better than ever before. To name but a few, firm favourites Lick the Spoon from Corsham in Wiltshire scooped an incredible 11 Gold awards with their fabulous range of chocolates and Easter eggs; Denhay Farms from Honiton in Devon took nine Gold awards for their range of bacon; and Deli Farm Charcuterie from Delabole in Cornwall collected four Gold awards for their delicious cured meats. On their second year of entering, Oak Park Dairy in Cullompton, Devon were awarded four Gold awards for their wonderful milk and cream.
The Non-Alcoholic Cold Drinks class saw a wonderful array of refreshing and healthy drinks win Gold, with new entrants Hanora Health from Trowbridge, Wiltshire and Komunitea Kombucha from Braunton, Devon both winning two Gold awards. Hanora Health won Gold for their Raspberry and Lime Sparkling Water Kefir and their Lemon Sparkling Water Kefir, and Silver for their Ginger flavour. Kombucha is very much the drink of the moment and Komunitea Kombucha’s Friendly Fire and Blossom Tea Party were testament to this – both scored Gold awards.
A popular class again this year – Ice Creams and Sorbets – saw a plethora of awards across the board with 24 being achieved in this second phase of judging alone, 16 of these being Gold. Newcomers The Local Scoop from Dawlish in Devon and Gwella Dairy from Helston in Cornwall both scooped three of these Gold awards each. The perfect accompaniment to an ice cream, of course, is a cookie (what calories?). If you opt for a Furniss Cookie by Teoni created by Furniss (Proper Cornish) from Bodmin in Cornwall, there are ten award-winning flavours to choose from… all of them truly delicious when slightly warmed and utterly sublime with a scoop of ice cream.
Overall Taste of the West has awarded 624 Gold awards, 203 Silver awards and 89 Commended awards to products made in the West Country as part of this year’s Taste of the West Awards.
John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West, commented “This year Taste of the West is celebrating its 30th anniversary and are incredibly proud to be the UK’s largest independent regional food group. Times change but our values don’t – for 30 years we have been working together with support from our members, sponsors and partners for a sustainable future in South West food and drink. The results from this year’s Taste of the West Product Awards are a true reflection of the provenance, quality and integrity that food and drink producers in the West Country have to offer.”
This year’s Awards are title sponsored by Old Mill Financial Experts, who share Taste of the West’s passion for supporting local food and drink businesses from the West Country.
Phil Mills, Head of the Food & Drink team at Old Mill commented “Despite all of the challenges over the last 12 months the quality of the produce is better than ever. We have seen producers adapt in ways we would never have thought possible, ensuring that the West Country continues to lead the way in the UK food and drink industry. Old Mill are delighted to have continued our partnership with Taste of the West through which we can further support the sector as it continues to evolve.”
For more information about the Taste of the West Awards, please visit www.tasteofthewest.co.uk/awards.