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Queenstown and Wanaka ice cream makers have hit the medals at the national Ice Cream and Gelato Awards.
Patagonia Chocolates and Mrs Ferg Galateria of Queenstown and Pure New Zealand from Wanaka walked away with a range of medals after 270 entries were judged by a panel led by chief judge Jackie Matthews in July.
All up 64 gold medals, 74 silver medals, and 45 bronze medals were bestowed upon the finest Kiwi-made ice cream and gelato — including five golds for Patagonia and one each for Pure and Mrs Ferg.
Pure received 11 medals, four of those in the premium ice cream category, while Patagonia received eight, including two golds each in the standard ice cream and sorbet sections, and Ferg four, including gold in the new to market section for its Gianduia and Dark Chocolate Pearls.
Matthews made special mention of the high standard of entries in 2023, noting flavour trends were an evolution on those observed last year.
"Medal winners are a roll call of New Zealand’s finest makers from Tip Top Ice Cream Company, Much Moore Ice Cream Co and New Zealand Creameries to boutique makers like Patagonia Chocolates from Queenstown, Appleby Farms in Nelson and Island Gelato Co in Auckland.
"Tip Top was awarded 14 Gold Medals and five Silver Medals for treats Kiwis know and love such as Tip Top Frozen Yoghurt and Tip Top Chocolate Trumpet as well as for newer flavour combos like; Tip Top Rocky Road and Kāpiti Affogato. Much Moore Ice Cream Co received a haul of 24 medals and New Zealand Creameries, 20 medals.
"More unusual flavours to receive recognition include Gold Medals to Cuisinang Capampangan, Gian’s Calamansi & Manuka Honey Sorbet and Silver Medals for; Ginelli's, Turmeric Mango Sunrise; Island Gelato Co, Basil & Lime; New Zealand Creameries Deep South, Deep South Smores; Patagonia Chocolates, Orange & Basil Sorbet; and Ginelli's, Ube.
"Gelato producers are showing real capability with some superb entries — they really have ‘‘nailed it’’ with the technical aspects of gelato-making; body, texture, mouthfeel and flavour with the result being a fabulous eating experience!"
"The ice cream, gelato and sorbet from the boutique makers were especially fabulous with sensory, indulgent, rich, complex flavours, while dairy-free products are following global trends with entries made with an oat base growing rapidly."
The top gold medal winners are eligible to win category champion awards with 2023 trophy winners being announced at the NZ Ice Cream and Gelato Awards in Auckland on August 31.
- A full list of medal winners can be found here.