Great Taste Golden Fork award presented to Hannan Meats

Some of the products from Hannan Meats.
Some of the products from Hannan Meats.

A Moira company was celebrating when it was honoured at the Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, at its grand finale for 2017.

Hannan Meats was awarded at the Great Taste Golden Fork for its ‘salty, wonderful and magnificent’ Sweet Cured Bacon Rack.

The meat which is dry-cured for ten days is then buried in a secret blend of sugars for a further ten-days, to create a product that has also been listed in this year’s Top 50 Foods.

The product competed against 12,366 products, and the Sweet Cured Bacon Rack was chosen as the best tasting product in its region at the Great Taste Golden Fork Award Dinner held on Monday, September 4 at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel. There were over 350 guests who attended the event from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.

The Golden Fork from Northern Ireland was sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland and also nominated this year was Great Taste 3-star winning Tempted Irish Cider Elderflower by Antrim-based Tempted Cider Company and Glenarm Salt Aged Lamb Rump by Hannan Meats, both of which were also listed in this year’s Top 50 Foods.

Great Taste was founded in 1994 and organised by The Guild of Fine Food, has judged over 122,000 products in the last 23 years. Each one has been blind-tasted by a team of judges who are dedicated to finding the most exquisite tasting food and drink regardless of branding or packaging.

The panel of judges this year included chef, food writer and author, Gill Meller, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, author and Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker, Tom Herbert, and food writer and baking columnist, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols.

This year over 500 judges, including specially trained food writers inputting judges’ comments, came together at 62 judging days from March through to early July.

The Great Taste judging roadshow took a turn at the impressive Llandrillo College, north Wales, as guests of the Welsh Government. They judged at specialist test centres for tea, filter coffee and espresso with the remainder of the judging days at Guild HQ in Dorset and new venue and permanent home close to Borough Market, London.

The judges, from all corners of the food world, blind-taste in teams of three or four ensuring a balance of expertise, age and gender.

Around 165 foods achieved the highest and most coveted rating, three stars and around 35% of entries were accredited.