As you can see from the title, we received some fantastic news recently about our very own The Cotswold Pig and BBQ Salt which both won 2 stars in the Great Taste Awards run by the Guild of Fine Food! This is a great achievement and we could not be happier with the result.
The Guild of Fine Food supports and promotes speciality food producers and the independent delis, farm shops and food halls, and has a large backing of committed members, including Ross & Ross Food. This group run the Great Taste Awards every year which is one of the world’s largest food and drink awards, and is judged by a panel of around 500 experts ranging from chefs, buyers, food writers and retailers.
Food business’s everywhere can enter their food products which will be judged by these panelists, who will agree whether the product deserves a Great Taste Award star rating, and if so how many stars. One star means the product is ‘simply delicious’, two stars means the product is ‘outstanding’, and lastly three stars means that the product is ‘Exquisite. Wow! Taste that.’ We had the honour of receiving two stars for each product, which means the BBQ Salt and are ‘outstanding’ products!
To create our BBQ Salt we worked closely with Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt based in the Isle of Anglesey. The company has a very interesting story, and resurrected the age-old craft by combining traditional hand harvesting with brand new technology to produce the crunchy white flakes of Halen Môn. They use pure charcoal-filtered seawater drawn from the Menai Strait around Anglesey. When the concentration of the salt in the water is high enough, they release it into crystallisation tanks where they turn into the trademark Salt crystals.
The judge’s left their comments and said: “The big salt crystals look attractive and the flavours all come through, without any one element dominating. The crystals can be crushed easily in the fingers and we all felt it would be a great seasoning for a barbecue. Many flavoured salts are gimmicky but this tastes good and would be a useful addition to the seasonings shelf. We think the crystals look gorgeous and would be very dramatic on grilled or barbecued fish.”
The Cotswold Pig would never have been created in the first place if it wasn’t for the hard work of the team over at Stratford-Upon-Avon Brewery. Stratford-Upon-Avon Brewery was established in 2013 by Richard Williams, who is a very close friends of ours, and who had a big passion of making beer at home, so decided to set up his own brewery on his farm. The brewery began to grow and now supplies over 90 pubs in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, and purchased the Norman Knight Public House in May 2015. We worked very closely with Richard to ensure every aspect of this Beer was perfect to introduce to our Handmade British Food Gifts range.
As Stratford-Upon-Avon Brewery is a microbrewery, our beers are made in small batches which means every little bit of flavour is blended into each of our beers. They share a lot of the same values as us and this is why the relationship between both companies has continued to grow. The brewery take quite a eco friendly approach and have solar panels and wind turbines on site, and also use water from their very own spring. Not only that, but the brewery even feed all the spelt and hops, that are waste from the production, to the Gloucester Old Spot pigs on their farm.
The judge’s commented: “A beautiful deep gold in the glass with a pleasing head. There’s a lovely medley of fruity, floral, hoppy aromas on the nose. Good freshness on the palate, with some honeyed notes carrying gentle hoppiness. The malts are quite prominent, which is perhaps a surprise after reading the list of hops – but the balance of the latter is very well managed. Good, pleasing dry, gently bitter finish. We could drink this all night long.”
If you want to stock up on our Great Taste Award winning BBQ Salt ready to sell for the BBQ season, make sure you contact Ben on the following:
Thank you to the judge’s at the Great Taste Awards for awarding our products 2 stars and for the incredible comments!