Star-studded Irish firms fight for Taste-y awards

EIGHT Irish food companies are among those first in line for the overall prizes in Britain’s foremost food competition, the 2010 Great Taste Awards.

They include the Healys Honey company of Maglin, Ballincollig, Co Cork. Their Active Manuka Honey is one of the eight Irish-made foods to be awarded three stars in the prestigious competition.

Remarkably, all but one of the eight companies is Munster-based.

Silver Pail Dairy in Fermoy has been awarded three stars for its raspberry sorbet. The same honour has gone to the Woodcock Smokery at Castletownshend in West Cork for its wild smoked salmon.

Also in West Cork, Ummera Smoked Products of Timoleague is one of the select few chosen from more than 6,000 Great Taste entrants to be awarded three stars, for their Silver Hill duck, salt, sugar and oak smoke.

Before two or three stars are awarded to Great Taste entrants up to 20 judges must unanimously agree the product has achieved absolute perfection.

Two Munster cheese companies have won the coveted threes stars in 2010, and will be among the favourites to win overall awards at a flittering gala ceremony in the renowned Fortnum & Mason quintessential English store in London’s Piccadilly next September.

They are the soft cows milk bloomy rind Cooleeney Farmhouse cheese made at Moyne, Thurles, Co Tipperary, and the blue cheese made by J and L Grubb Ltd of Cashel Cheese, made at Beechmount, Fethard, in Co Tipperary.

The Great Taste Awards have proved again that Irish coffee lovers are well served.

Among a host of one, two and three-star Irish winners is the Ponaire Coffee Roastery and coffee shop/deli at Annacotty Business Park in Limerick, awarded three stars for its all arabica blend of Indian Monsoon Malabar and El Salvador coffee. And Bewleys feature as usual in these prestigious awards, awarded three stars for their lively espresso with hint of spices and orange chocolate.

Eight three star and nearly 50 two star Irish products in the 2010 Great Taste Awards will earn invaluable publicity and additional sales.

Last September, 5.5 million radio listeners heard Chris Evans talk to Great Taste Awards gold-star winning producers on his BBC Radio 2 drivetime show. Over 30m consumers read about gold-star winning food and drink in newspapers and magazines, and tens of thousands tasted them at food exhibitions.

Taste Gold, the British Guild of Fine Food’s annual guide to award winning foods, will promote the winners at more than 80 food exhibitions/festivals around the country.


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