Judges praise quality of foods

Farm Fresh South owners Melissa and Logan Johnson won a gold medal in the Outstanding Food...
Farm Fresh South owners Melissa and Logan Johnson won a gold medal in the Outstanding Food Producers Awards last night. PHOTO: OTAGO DAILY TIMES FILES
Otago producers have again shown their strength at the Outstanding Food Producers Awards last night alongside Southland newcomers.

A judging team recently tasted more than 300 products over two days to award gold, silver and bronze medals to products across the country.

Head judge Lauraine Jacobs says it was the most exciting year to date as the quality of food products continues to rise.

"The awards judging process sets a high bar and there were many products, especially when fresh and straight from the farm or ocean, where the judges felt the growers and farmers had actually reached perfection."

Gold medals were awarded to Wanaka’s Augustines of Central’s Rhubarb in Rose and Gore’s Robbies Artisan Collection Noir Garlik - Black Garlic Sauce Gluten Free as well as Invercargill’s Farm Fresh South in the dairy section for its South Raw Milk and South Whole Pasteurised Milk and Southland-based meat Processor Alliance Group for its Pure South Lamb and Pure South Handpicked Beef — 55 Day Aged.

Augustines, which regularly wins medals in the awards, also gained silver medals for its pickled asparagus and Black Doris Jam while Robbies also got a bronze for its Artisan Honey and Balsamic Pickled Onions

Silver medals went to Cardrona’s Branch Creek Honey creamed clover blend, Wanaka Kitchen Window’s Central Otago Apple and Date Chutney, Taste of the Alps’ The Cocky, Black Doris Plum and Horseradish Relish and The Fisherman, Bread and Butter Pickle and Dunedin’s Tartan Sari’s Spicy Zucchini Pickle and Alexandra’s Peanut Britle Retro.

In the dairy-free section Wanaka’s PURE New Zealand Ice Cream, another regular medal-winner in the awards, got silver for its damson Plum Sorbet and bronze for its Lime Sorbet, Dark Belgian Chocolate Sorbet.

Bronze medals went to Dunedin’s Harraways for its Less sugar Strawberry Cream and Kitchen Window’s Central Otago Pear and Fig Chutney and Central Otago Apricot amd Chilli Chutney.

Those gaining gold medals can win one of the champions awards to be presented on June 21.