The 2013 Great Taste results have been announced Smoke & Pickle strike Gold once again

Smoke & Pickle is celebrating the news that its Paprika Chicken prepared meal has wowed judges in Great Taste 2013 by being awarded Gold in the world’s largest and most rigorous food awards scheme involving over 400 judges and thousands of hours of blind tasting. This builds the company’s success in 2012 when it won four Gold Awards for its Beef Bolognese, Paneer & Pea Dhansak, Fish Soup & our Potted Roquefort, Pear & Walnut.

Great Taste is simply about taste, not clever branding or smart packaging.  Judges are presented with, for example, a piece of cheese, a pie or a little dish of chutney, with no wrappings, jars or marks – and they taste, confer and re-taste before making the decision on whether a product should be a winner.  In total more than 12 judges will have tasted and commented on each product.

Almost 10,000 products were entered into Great Taste 2013, judged by a panel including Masterchef judge and restaurant critic Charles Champion, food buyers from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Food Markets and Michelin Star chef Russell Brown.     

Sara Curtis, owner of Smoke & Pickle, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win another Great Taste Award. We now have achieved a total of five such awards within the last year – it’s a fantastic achievement for a small family owned and managed company such as ours. The Great Taste competition recognises the craft and dedication that goes into making superb food and drink”.

Mrs. Curtis believes high quality natural ingredients, flavoursome recipes and proper production methods are the key to Smoke & Pickle’s success. “We think that eating good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures”, Mrs Curtis said. “We’d been trying out our recipes on friends and family for the past 25 years and we had often toyed with the idea of making our food available to a wider audience. We suddenly decided it was about time we stopped dreaming and did something about it!”

Co-owner Will Curtis is very proud of the progress the company has made. “We didn’t expect to achieve this sort of success so quickly. The feedback about our products has been amazing”, he said. “It’s been very hard work but extremely exciting and we’ve loved every minute of it. We aim to continue to expand our retail network, increase our product range and supply high quality retailers in all parts of the country.”

Smoke & Pickle supplies around 200 high quality delicatessens, farm shops, food halls, garden centres and other independent retailers throughout the UK.

What is Great Taste?

Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for speciality and fine food & drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.     

Since 1994 over 80,000 products have been evaluated. This year alone, almost 10,000 products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

What are Great Taste judges looking for?

They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.

What should consumers look for?

The logo. The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.

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Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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