Success for Causeway Coast and Glens Region in UK Great Taste Awards 2023Aug 02, 2023
It was a great day for the Causeway Coast and Glens region with 42 Gold Stars being awarded to local food and drink producers in the prestigious Great Taste Awards 2023.
The Great Taste Awards were announced on 1st August and are the largest and most trusted food & drink accreditation scheme with the Great Taste stars being highly respected seals of approval. Every product submitted is blind tasted by selected chefs, cooks, buyers, retailers, restaurateurs, food critics and writers.
The total number of stars awarded to the region is well up from last year’s total of 23 stars.
So what do the stars mean?
- Products awarded 1-star are “Simply delicious…a food that delivers fantastic flavour.”
- Products awarded 2 stars are “Outstanding…above and beyond delicious.”
- Products awarded 3 stars are “Exquisite…extraordinarily tasty food and drink.”
This year Morelli's Ice Cream scooped two three-star awards, the highest award given (only around 2% of total products entered attain this most prestigious award) for their Pistachio Swirl Ice Cream and Clotted Cream with Irish Black Butter Ice Cream. The latter is especially significant as it is a local collaboration with Irish Black Butter.
It was also great to see first time entrants making the grade with Basalt Distillery achieving 2 stars for Giant’s Basalt Rock Gin, Portilla’s Café picking up 2 stars for their Sandona Coffee and 1 star for their Comuna Coffee, Naturally North Coast and Glens Devils Churn picking up two stars for both Original Caramel Sauce and Campfire Salted Caramel Sauce and 1 star for Whiskey Caramel Sauce (made with Bushmills Whiskey) and The Lamb Van getting 1 star for their superb Lamb Sausage Rolls.
John Farrand, managing director at the Guild of Fine Food comments:
“A huge congratulations to the Northern Irish producers who have been awarded Great Taste stars for 2023 with their outstanding food and drink.
“Every year, we welcome new and established producers making fantastic products around the world and this year has been no exception. The breadth and quality of food and drink has been outstanding and we wish everyone who entered huge success and hope they find the feedback from our expert judging panel beneficial as they continue in their onward journey.”
Celebrity Chef and long-time supporter of local food and drink, Paula McIntyre, commented
“The Great Taste Awards really are the benchmark for food awards in the UK. Achieving one star is a wonderful attainment given the standard of entries, and it is great to see the number of two and three stars and all the new entrants and products coming through. It really is a fantastic endorsement for local producers from our area. Having been a judge myself, I am very aware of how hard these are to win, and congratulate each and every one on their achievements.”
- Morelli Ice Cream
- Lakeland Dairies
- Basalt Distillery
- Lacada Brewery
- Portilla’s Cafe Ltd
- Annie’s Delights
- Jam at The Doorstep
- Causeway Coffee
- Dundarave Estate
- Glens of Antrim Crisps
- The Lamb Van
- Taste Joy
- Corndale Farm
- Naturally North Coast and Glens Devil’s Churn
For further information and where to buy the award-winning products from Taste Causeway members who were successful in this year’s awards see below:
Morelli Ice Cream
Morelli's Pistachio Swirl Ice Cream – 3 stars
Morelli's Clotted Cream with Irish Black Butter Ice Cream – 3 stars
Morelli's Dulche de Leche with Macadamia Nuts Ice Cream – 1 star
Morelli's Clotted Cream with Amarena Cherry Ice Cream – 1 star
Morelli's Madagascan Vanilla Ice Cream – 1 star
The Morelli family have been making their multi award winning ice cream on the north coast of Ireland since 1911 producing over fifty flavours of scoop ice cream, frozen yogurt & sorbet at their factory in Coleraine
The Morelli family’s connection to Northern Ireland began when their great uncle Peter Morelli – left his southern Italian homeland in search of work and a better life. He and his brothers established cafes and ice cream parlours throughout Great Britain and Ireland and were so successful that, more than a hundred years later, the family name is synonymous with fantastic ice cream.
For more information about Morelli Ice Cream go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/morelli-ice-cream
Ballyrashane Butter Salted - 2 stars
Ballyrashane Buttermilk - 1 star
Ballyrashane Double Cream - 1 star
Ballyrashane Semi Skimmed Milk - 1 star
Ballyrashane Whole Milk - 1 star
For more information about Lacpatrick Dairies go to Lakeland Dairies
Giant’s Basalt Rock Gin – 2 stars
Basalt Distillery is based on the north coast of Ireland, near the iconic Giant's Causeway. Giants Basalt Rock Gin was launched in 2022.
The distillery takes basalt purified water from their own 600ft well, use the most advanced distilling technology and apply molecular-level precision to create an unparalleled three-dimensional gin.
For more information about Basalt Distillery go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/basalt-distillery
Portillas Café Ltd
Sandona - Smooth chocolate, Caramel Notes – 2 stars
Comuna Coffee - Smooth Chocolate and Caramel Notes – 1 star
Founded by husband and wife duo, Frank & Rachel; Comuna Coffee is shaped by the direct links with their Colombian Farms, as well as their Irish heritage.
Sparked by the desire to see local coffee farmers sustainably grow and farm higher quality coffees, Comuna Coffee has been feeding into the lives of farmers since 2016. They are driven by the desire to deliver a fair price to the farmers for their produce, beyond the current market commodity price.
For more information go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/fidela-coffee-roasters
Blue Pool – 2 stars
East the Beast – 1 star
Lacada Brewery in Portrush began when a father and son started brewing together in 2015. They not only wanted to establish a brewery but wanted one that was ‘owned’ by the community on the North Coast.
The Great Taste judges said that Blue Pool was “Big and powerful… soft and fluffy with a restrained bitterness and welcome creaminess… a really good IPA!” and that East the Beast was a “refreshing beer with a solid flavour of biscuit and fruit… a very clean IPA and a great everyday beer!”
For more information about Lacada Brewery go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/lacada-brewery
Chilli Jam – 1 star
Annie’s Delights is an independent producer of jams, chutneys and traditional breads and bakes. All Annie’s Delights’ products are handmade in small batches using the highest quality locally grown ingredients. Annie’s Chilli Jam goes really well with any selection of cold cuts of meat or on a burger/sandwich.
The Great Taste judges commented that it was “a stunning red jam with a really well-judged heat.”
For more information about Annie’s Delights go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/annies-delights
Jam at The Doorstep
Handmade All Butter Sticky Toffee Pudding – 1 star
Amanda Hanna produces a range of jams, chutneys, curds, salted caramel sauce, Christmas puddings and sticky toffee puddings at her family’s dairy farm on the outskirts of Armoy. Amanda also has a new Farm Shop opening soon, Ballykenver Farmshop & Kitchen, selling her own products alongside other locally made products as well as running regular workshops in her cosy kitchen where participants can learn to make their own tasty jams and chutneys and partake in a wonderful Causeway Coast Afternoon tea experience.
Amanda’s delicious Sticky toffee puddings also won 1 star at last year’s Great Taste Awards.
For more information about Ballykenver Farmshop & Kitchen go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/jam-at-the-doorstep
Oonagh Coffee – 1 star
Causeway Coffee takes great pride in roasting only the very best ethically-sourced premium coffee beans sourced from South and Central America, Asia and Africa.
Oonagh, which is named after the wife of the giant Fionn MacCool, is a dark roast coffee. It is a delicious blend of coffee beans from Columbia and Central America resulting in a taste profile of rich, velvety dark chocolate with hazelnuts and pecans.
For more information about Causeway Coffee go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/causeway-coffee
Christmas Pudding – 1 star
At Dundarave, the team grows the freshest and finest quality ingredients which are used to produce the highest quality products to be sold in the farm shop including premium meat hampers, an array of delicious jams and chutneys and sweet, crisp apple juice.
The Great Taste judges commented that Dundarave’s Christmas pudding was “a very appealing-looking Christmas pudding, packed with delicious soft fruit. There is a wonderful enticing aroma which follows through to the flavour. The judges loved the intensity of the flavour, which was neither overly spiced nor citrusy."
For more information about Dundarave Estate go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/dundarave-estate
Glens of Antrim Crisps
Shindigs, Irish Sea Salt & Vinegar Ridge Cut Crisps – 1 star
Shindigs, Mature Irish Cheddar & Sweet Onion Ridge Cut Crisps – 1 star
Shindigs, Sour Cream & Shamrock Ridge Cut Crisps – 1 star
Shindigs, Whiskey smoked Bacon Ridge Cut Crisps – 1 star
In 2018, they decided to diversify into crisp production and set off on a journey with one distinct idea in mind, to create the finest Potato Crisps the world has to offer! We think they have created the perfect crisp with their range of thick cut hand cooked potato crisps with bold, punchy flavours and the perfect crunch! Glens of Antrim Crisps focus on sourcing as local as they can right down to the raw materials. The range of award-winning crisps are now listed in most retailers under own label and branded lines.
For more information about Glens of Antrim Crisps go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/glens-of-antrim-crisps
The Lamb Van
Lamb Sausage Rolls – 1 star
The Lamb Van’s delicious high-quality, grass-fed and incredibly delicious NIFQA lamb are ethically reared on the Dempster’s farm near Ballymoney. The Dempsters are passionate about inspiring more people to eat high quality Northern Ireland lamb and to make it more readily available to everyone. The Lamb Van’s sausage rolls are the ultimate gourmet snack.
The Great Taste Judges commented that The Lamb Van’s sausage rolls were “very enticing golden sausage rolls with a generous filling, and the distinct savoury aroma of lamb. The mincing of the lamb is well judged, giving a juicy, moist mouthfeel. The thin pastry has excellent buttery flavour and the flavour of the lamb sings of quality meat which is enhanced by the well judged seasoning. This is a well made and tasty sausage roll. A very enjoyable and slightly different snack which is all about the quality of the lamb used.”
For more information about The Lamb Van go to https://www.tastecauseway.com/the-lamb-van
Where to buy
- Ballykenver Farm Shop
77 Ballykenver Road, Armoy, BT53 8RP
Find out more about Ballykenver Farm Shop and Kitchen at https://www.tastecauseway.com/jam-at-the-doorstep
17-19 Ann Street, Ballycastle, BT54 6AA
Find out more about McListers at https://www.tastecauseway.com/mclisters-ballycastle
- Apperley Fine Foods
53-55 Main Street, Limavady, BT49 0EP
23-27 Main Street, Ballymoney, BT53 6AN
Find out more about Apperley’s at https://www.tastecauseway.com/apperley-fine-foods
119 Main Street, Bushmills, BT57 8QB
Find out more about Maegden at https://www.tastecauseway.com/maegden
- The Chocolate Manor
3 Main Street, Castlerock, BT51 4RA
Find out more about The Chocolate Manor at https://www.tastecauseway.com/the-chocolate-manor
- CeCe’s Cakes and Bakes
16 Kingsgate Street, Coleraine
Find out more about CeCe’s at https://www.tastecauseway.com/ceces-cakes-and-bakes
- Fairley’s Wines
62-64 Railway Road, Coleraine, BT52 1PF
Find out more about Fairley’s at https://www.tastecauseway.com/fairleys-wines
- Stone Row Artisans
1st Floor, 2-6 Stone Row, Coleraine, BT52 1EP
Find out more about Stone Row Artisans at https://www.tastecauseway.com/stone-row-artisans
- Broighter Gold Farm Shop
Broglasco Farm, 80 Broighter Road, Myroe, Limavady, BT49 9DY
Find out more at https://www.tastecauseway.com/broighter-gold
- Chestnutt’s Farm
211 Ballbogey Road, Portrush, BT56 8NE
Find out more about Chestnutt’s Farm at https://www.tastecauseway.com/chestnutts-farm
- Warke’s Deli
1 Carrig na Cule, The Promenade, Portstewart
Find out more about Warke’s Deli at https://www.tastecauseway.com/warkes-deli
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