The Great Taste Awards took place last week and a great deal of recognition was put on Northern Ireland for some of the fantastic food that the country have been creating. This award ceremony was created in 1994 by the Guild of Fine Food, and is regarded as one of the most accredited and entrusted schemes in the country for the recognition of fine foods. Over the past 13 years, the organisation have evaluated 60,000 different products.
Over the past year, over 9000 entries have been made from companies all over the country and in order for them to be evaluated they are tested by a panel of top chefs who taste the food blind. It is not just chefs who make the judgements however, and cookbook writers, restauranteurs, fine food retailers, and food critics also make up the panel.
Those responsible for tasting work in small teams and they taste 25 different foods during each round. The people then discuss the food that they are tasting and their comments are put on a website which people can visit and see what the judges say about the food.
Some foods are so exceptional that the team decide to put it forward for a gold star, but in order for this to be confirmed, two other teams have to taste the food and then accredit it to make sure that it is worthy of the gold standard.
In order for the highest ranked to be awarded, the three star gold award, all of the judges who are present at the session have to taste the food individually and every single one has to agree that it is deserving of the three star status. So far, only around 120 food items have been given the Three Gold Star award by the organisation