GREAT TASTE, the world’s most coveted food and drink awards, has announced its stars of 2021, and a host of delicious Welsh food and drink products have been stamped with a gold seal of approval.

An exceptional 270 Welsh products, ranging from small independent artisan producers to large scale distributors, have been successful at the awards, with 190 products achieving 1-star, 69 receiving 2-stars and 11 earning the gold stamp of approval with 3-stars.

Every year a panel of distinguished judges made up of top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers gather to sample the nation’s best food and drink and this year, Welsh producers did not disappoint.

The process involves judges blind tasting in teams of three or four, ensuring they “get a balance of expertise, age and gender” before finalising their decisions.

The eleven Welsh products that have this year been recognised to deliver 3-star “extraordinarily tasty foods” status are:

  • Ty’r Gobaith’s Pantry (Powys) – Pickled Cucumber
  • Pantri Swswen (Powys) – Welsh Blackcurrant Conserve
  • Pembrokeshire Lamb Ltd (Pembrokeshire) – Hogget Shoulder
  • Silver Circle Distillery Limited (Monmouthshire) – Damson Negroni
  • Happy Hedgehog Foods Ltd (Flintshire) – Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef (Denbighshire) – Dolwen PGI Welsh Lamb Shoulder
  • Lili Mai (Ceredigion) – Raspberry and Rose Jam
  • Caws Teifi Cheese (Ceredigion) – Teifi Halloumi
  • Best of Hungary Ltd (Ceredigion) – Rubin Paprika Hot Smoked Hungarian Paprika Powder
  • Fecci’s Ice Cream t/a Mario’s Luxury Dairy Ice Cream (Carmarthenshire) – Sicilian Pistachio Dairy Ice Cream
  • Dunbia (UK) (Carmarthenshire) – Rose County 35 Day Dry Aged Native Breed Cote de Boeuf

Of Silver Circle Distillery Ltd’s Damson Negroni, one of the independent judges said: “The complexity is remarkable; the balance of sweetness and bitterness continues to delight long after the final sip.

“We cannot think how this might conceivably be improved; we wondered about a more overt damson flavour but felt that nothing should disturb the perfect balance of tastes and aromatics here.”

Congratulating the winning producers, Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said:

“I am delighted at the number of awards which have been deservedly won by Welsh food and drink producers at the 2021 Great Taste Awards.

”The judges from the Guild of Fine Food have identified produce of the highest quality from across Wales, reflecting the hard work and creativity which is characteristic of our world class food and drink industry.

“A huge congratulations to all on their achievements in this year’s Awards and I wish them every success in the future.”

Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers, and is described as the ‘Oscars’ of the food world.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food said: “The standard of Welsh entries this year has been outstanding considering the challenges of the last 18 months. Great Taste is recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike. It is a fantastic achievement and a tangible sign of the quality and excellence, which reflects the ever increasing commitment and dedication by Welsh food and drink producers to the fine food sector.”

All eleven of the 3-star Welsh products are now up for the regional title of ‘Golden Fork from Wales’, which will be announced on Sunday 17 October 2021.A full list of this year’s winners can be viewed at www.greattasteawards.co.uk