Needham Market: Alder Tree ice cream maker scoops golden three stars at Great Taste Awards

A SUFFOLK fruit ice cream maker has scooped a ‘gold’ in the 2012 Great Taste Awards.

Needham Market-based Alder Tree’s Raspberry cream ice received the highest award of three Gold Stars from the Guild of Fine Food, which runs the awards.

Judges praised the “excellent fresh raspberry taste, creaminess and wonderfully ripe fruit”. Only two other products received top marks in the ice cream and frozen dessert categories, putting Alder Tree firmly among the very best in the country.

Of a total of over 8,800 products entered across all categories in 2012 only 123 were awarded the coveted 3 stars.

Judges this year included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Charles Campion.

The panel also included food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay and over 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.

Guild of Fine Food chairman Bob Farrand said that each of the food and drink products entered into Great Taste undergoes the most rigorous scrutiny. “To achieve a three-star grading involves at least 25 experts blind-tasting and unanimously agreeing that the product tastes divine,” he said. “These products all deliver the most extraordinary taste.”

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Alder Tree’s Gooseberry & Elderflower, Damson, Toffee Apple & Blackcurrant also received a ‘faultless’ two stars and their Tayberry and Morello Cherry received a ‘perfect’ one star.

“We are absolutely delighted to have received so many Great Taste Awards this year’, said Stephany Hardingham, of Alder Tree. ‘with 7 Great Taste Awards & 13 stars we have achieved our own personal best in 2012’

Two other three star winners in East Anglia were Marybelle of Suffolk for their cr�me fraiche, and Booja-Booja of Norfolk for their Hazelnut truffles.

The other three star winners in the ice cream frozen dessert categories were Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour for their Elderflower sorbet and Jolly Nice with their Gooseberry & Elderflower ice cream.