02 Aug Great Taste Award 2018
Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, which celebrates the very best in food and drink, has announced the Great Taste stars of 2018. Out of over 12,600 products to be judged, Toast Ale was awarded 2-star Great Taste awards for its Purebread Pale Ale and Much Kneaded Craft Lager, and a 1-star Great Taste award for its Bloomin’ Lovely Session IPA.
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
Louisa Ziane, Chief Brand Officer at Toast Ale explains: ‘Whilst we are driven by our environmental mission, upcycling fresh surplus bakery bread and pouring all profits into charity to end food waste, the taste and quality of our beer is paramount. So we’re thrilled to win the prestigious Great Taste Award for our beers – it’s a huge accolade that proves doing good can taste great. We’ll be celebrating throughout August, culminating with the River Cottage Festival over the bank holiday weekend, and look forward to raising a Toast with festival goers’.
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike,Great Taste values taste aboveall else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is vinegar, granola, bacon or cheese being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.
There were 12,634 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 192 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,207 received a 2-star and 3,254 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges this year included; MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.
Great Taste ratings
3-star: Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 3% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t
leave the shop without buying it!
2-star: Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating
1-star: A food that delivers fantastic flavour.Approximately 25% of entries will achieve this rating each year.
What are Great Taste judges looking for?
They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.
How do they work?
Each team of three to four judges blind-tastes around 25 products per session, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website, which producers access after judging is completed. Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well-established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars. Food or drink that is deemed worthy of Great Taste stars is also tasted by a team of arbitrators, who taste, confer and agree on the final award given. If judges feel that a product needs some adjustment, and is therefore not likely to receive an award, the food or drink gets a second chance on a referral table, where another team blind-tastes and deliberates. For a Great Taste 3-star award, the vast majority in the room – which can be as many as 30-40 experts – must agree that the food or drink delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.
What should consumers look for?
The logo. The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.