Region savours success in food awards

A HOST of food and drink producers from East Anglia have been honoured with gold awards in the Guild of Fine Food's Great Taste Awards for 2009.The awards are nationally recognised as the independent benchmark for fine foods, with each gold winner having been blind tasted by a minimum of eight experts.

A HOST of food and drink producers from East Anglia have been honoured with gold awards in the Guild of Fine Food's Great Taste Awards for 2009.

The awards are nationally recognised as the independent benchmark for fine foods, with each gold winner having been blind tasted by a minimum of eight experts.

High profile judges for this year's awards included restaurant critic Charles Campion, television chef Antony Worrall-Thompson, and master of wine Sarah Jane Evans.

Out of a total of 4,873 entries this year, 1,030 products were awarded gold. Of these, 639 received one star, 308 were awarded two stars and just 83 were awarded the highest accolade of three-star gold, reserved for products that are considered faultless.


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Leading the charge in East Anglia was Hadley's Dairy Products from Colne Engaine, near Colchester, which received a pair of three star awards, for its Espresso Coffee Ice Cream and Fresh Lemon Sorbet, plus a total of four one star awards for its Simple Vanilla Ice Cream, Rum Soaked Raisin Ice Cream, Mango & Lime Sorbet and Raspberry Sorbet.

Matching the Essex company almost star for star was Alder Tree, from Needham Market, which also claimed a pair of three star awards, for its Damson Fruit Cream Ice and Tayberry Ice Cream, plus a two star award for its Gooseberry & Elderflower Ice Cream and one star for its Toffee Apple Ice Cream.

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Cider and cider vinegar producer Aspall received a pair of two star awards (Aspall Organic Suffolk and Aspall Apple Juice) plus a one star award (Aspall Draught Suffolk). In addition, Fairfields Farm Crips, from Wormingford, near Colchester, received a one star award for its Sea Salt and Aspall Cyder Vinegar crisps.

Thursday Cottage, from Witham, received a two star award for its Diabetic Blackcurrant Jam and three one star awards (Fortnum & Mason Cognac Butter, Tangerine Marmalade and Rhubarb with Orange Marmalade).

Lane Farm Country Foods from Brundish, near Woodbridge, won a pair of two star awards, for its Smoked Dry Cure Back Bacon and Chorizom, while Munchy Seeds from Leiston received two stars for its savoury dry roasted Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds and one star for its Vanilla Pumpkin seeds coated in Vanilla flavoured icing sugar.

Two other Suffolk produces also claimed a two star award, Pinney's of Orford (Smoked Eel) and Vanilla Patisserie (Caramel Fudge Ready to Bake Cookie Dough).

Three Essex producers each achieved a pair of one star awards, including Wicks Manor (Olde English Sausage and Dry Cured Smoked Back Bacon), Great Garnetts (Pork Sausage, Plain and Fresh Pork, Boned and Rolled Shoulder) and Daily Grind Imports ( Novus Hospitality Green Tea and Novus Hospitality Earl Grey Tea).

There was similar success in Suffolk for Casa De l'Oli which also received a pair of one star awards (Oak-Smoked Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

Other one star awards in Suffolk went to Hillfarm Oils (Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil), James White Drinks (Cox Juice), Elveden Fine Foods (Raspberry Jam with Single Malt Whisky) and Criterion Ices (Brandy & Orange Ice Cream). In Essex, one star awards also went to Daizylake (Chocolate Heaven Brownie) and Margaret''s Frozen Luxuries (Mango Frozen Yoghurt).

The awards ceremony for the Great Taste Awards will be held at Fortnum & Mason's in London on September 7, when a judging panel will taste all regional winners in front of a live audience to decide which is to be crowned Supreme Champion 2009.

Blur bass player, farmer and writer Alex James, chef Mark Hix, and Thomasina Miers of Masterchef fame are among those already confirmed for the panel.

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