There’s no stopping Yorkshire food folk is there? For our food and drink producers have been awarded a staggering 221 stars in this year’s prestigious Great Taste Awards.
Dubbed the Oscars of the epicurean world and organised by the Guild of Fine Food, the awards represent the creme de la creme of all that is good and great on the UK’s food scene. We all recognise the stars on the jars, the gold and black accolade that tells us the food or drink we’re looking at is the best that money can buy.
And what makes this year’s awards so spectacular is that they show our producers are going from strength to strength – not that we didn’t know that anyway. For the county has gained around 40 more stars than last year and is second only to London in the number of English starry accolades achieved.
Which just goes to prove that when it comes to food and drink others have recognised what we’ve always known – that the bounty in God’s own county epitomises all that is good and great on the nation’s food scene.
Topping the Yorkshire league table is coffee roaster Grumpy Mule of Holmfirth who landed an amazing 17 stars for a wide-ranging variety of delectably-tasting coffees. Since they began in 2006 they’ve been sourcing coffee beans fairly and sustainably in their quest to fight the blight of bad coffee, And it’s clearly paying off.
St Helen’s Farm landed nine stars for its array of goat’s milk products which are seen in chiller cabinets up and down the country. The farm began 30 years ago this year as a smallholding in Barmy on the Marsh in East Yorkshire, and as well as the milk now produces a range of butter, cheese and yoghurts that have been picking awards year after year.
Still on the dairy front, the makers of Yummy Yorkshire ice cream near Denby Dale swept up seven stars for an array of lip-smacking ices that have been wowing customers since farmer Jeremy Holmes and wife Louise diversified the family farm almost a decade ago.
Their efforts are matched by sisters Caroline and Katie at Shepherds Purse creamery near Thirsk who now run the business started by their mum Judy Bell who began making cheese at her farmhouse kitchen table back in the 1980s.
The sisters picked up seven stars too, for cheeses that grace the best grocery shops in the land, not to mention adorning the shelves of some of our well known supermarkets. To this day their cheeses are still hand made and are picking up world class awards as well as Great Taste stars.
Treboom Brewery at Shipton-by-Beingbrough near York picked up six stars for their artisan beers which have been wowing beer drinkers since brewing began in 2012 in what was originally an old pig barn.
The Dales town of Hawes might by synonymous with Wensleydale cheese, but there are actually two cheese makers in town. Ribblesdale Creamery is no stranger to taste awards, having regularly picked up stars over the years for their beautiful goat’s cheese products, and this year was no exception, with five in the bag.
On the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds in the village of Welham near Malton is the Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice enterprise which also picked up five stars. The company has won stars for the fourth successive year – no mean feat for a relatively new entry on the county’s food and drink scene.
There are many, many more food and drink producers out there who are also beavering away to create quality products and the Great Taste Awards are testament to that. Have a look at Yorkshire’s hall of fame on the Great Taste Awards website.