Four businesses from across East Lothian have been awarded much-coveted stars in Great Taste 2020, the world’s most trusted food and drink awards. The four businesses, all extremely different, but each very much embodying quality artisan produce, are now able to display their stars on their product packaging.
Well known Gifford business, Yester Farm Dairies won a two-star award for its signature cottage cheese which the judges said had ‘lifted cottage cheese to a new dimension.’
The Spice Witch has also won two stars for her flagship product, Mango and Chilli Chutney, which is still made entirely by hand in small batches in order to ensure the ‘amazing aroma’ that the Great Taste judges loved so much!
Gullane based By Julia won one star with her Gullane Glögg which is a drinks mixer; a delicious combination of orange infused with spices, which can either be added to red or sparkling wine.
Last, but by no means least, Brodies, a business that has been synonymous with the finest teas and coffees since it was founded in 1867, won two sets of one star awards for its Kilimanjaro coffee and its Skeachan cake, which is based on a traditional treacle and ale rich fruit cake.
Judged by 144 of the most discerning palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as food writers and journalists, Great Taste is the most coveted of all food and drink awards. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to an outstanding product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting.
This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions.
Jackie McCreery, co-owner of Yester Farm Dairies, said:
“We have some of the best farming conditions in the UK here in East Lothian and we can make the best quality produce. I believe that this, combined with the extraordinary support we have received from the local community, has helped us to be able to produce products worthy of such prestigious awards as Great Taste.”
Janice Strachan from The Spice Witch, says of the Great Taste Awards:
“Those little black and gold stickers really do catch the eye of customers. But apart from the increase in sales, they give us an enormous sense of pride. There’s a wonderful history and love of good produce in East Lothian and we are incredibly grateful to work alongside such a wealth of local talent and producers.
Julia from By Julia says of the Great Taste Awards:
“Great Taste awards are so important to the business, as they are an endorsement of the quality of the product that carries the logo. Everyone recognises it on sight and would be likely to choose that product over another without the seal of approval.
Ann Hameda from Brodies feels strongly about the importance of artisan produce when it comes to winning customers over:
“Artisan producers are more connected to their products, as it is made through their passion and commitment and I think that shows in the quality and taste of the food they make.”
Rebecca Muir, Busines Manager for East Lothian, Scotland’s Food and Drink County said:
“These four businesses should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, and they demonstrate the breadth of talent and wonderful taste coming from East Lothian’s food and drink sector. The community has been so supportive of our local producers, particularly over recent months, and I’m sure that has contributed to what they’ve been able to achieve. I know that our winners are all grateful for all the support they receive from East Lothian residents and I too find that particularly uplifting.”
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is cake, coffee, kippers or kombucha 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 12,777 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 205 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,294 received a 2-star and 3,818 were awarded a 1-star accolade.