…and it’s a double whammy for one
After the last two years when the Supreme Champion Great Taste product was from Northern Ireland, in fact the same small town of Moira, two outstanding butchers are celebrating yet again! Hannan Meats – last year’s Great Taste Supreme Champion with Moyallan Guanciale, and McCartney’s of Moira, the Supreme Champion in 2011 with corned beef, have again both received 3-star awards from the judges.
Known for outstanding butchery skills, this year McCartney’s of Moira broke with tradition and impressed judges with an exquisite vegetarian tart of Mushroom, Leek and Smoked Garlic which had judges in raptures. One judge declared it “the best vegetarian dish I’ve ever tasted”. Also on the list of 3-star winners, it’s a double whammy for En Place Foods UK from County Tyrone for its Sea Buckthorn Berry and Lime Jam a product which judges described as “an explosion of fabulous flavours” and Sea Salted Caramel with Fennel Pollen. Back to outstanding farming and butchery skills and once again it was Hannan’s exquisite meat which wowed the judges with a Salt Aged Rack of Glenarm Shorthorn beef, which had one judge exclaiming “It leaves me speechless. It is absolutely a revelation” while another judge sat in silence, slowly savouring every last morsel of the beef before declaring it “incredible. Buttery, melt in the mouth, full of long flavours and excellent fat”.
Great Taste is all about taste. It is not about packaging or smart design. Judges are simply presented with food or drink to taste and they provide valuable feedback to thousands of producers each year. For a producer to win a Great Taste 1-star award is a great achievement, to win 2-stars means that many judges have been bowled over by the product, and to win a 3-star Great Taste award is comparable to a chef winning Michelin stars. It simply is seen in the world of fine food as a hallmark of taste, quality and excellence.
Since 1994, Great Taste has been organised by The Guild of Fine Food and over the last 19 year over 80,000 products have been blind tasted by judges including top restaurateurs, chefs, food critics, fine food retailers, buyers and cookery writers.
In 2013, producers entered 9738 different products and after many weeks of intense, but enjoyable judging in Ireland, London, Hampshire, Devon and at Guild of Fine Food HQ in Dorset, the following stars have been awarded.
2524 awarded 1-star
645 awarded 2-star
125 awarded 3-star