Wexford firms put quality on the table
Several family-run Wexford companies put local food on the top table at the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards, with three of them taking home major awards.
Wexford Home Preserves, which has been in business for more than 25 years, were the proud winners in the Christmas Q - Grocery Ambient section.
The New Ross-based company were awarded the prize for their Orange and Honey Ham Glaze, which is part of the Dunnes Stores Simply Better range. It was praised by judges for its 'very Christmassy and simple ingredients' that make it the 'perfect Yuletide treat'.
According to judges: 'The presentation is also very good and it's great value for money.'
Wexford Home Preserves was highly commended in the same section for their Cranberry Sauce.
The company says it makes all its recipes by open pot boiling, just like you would at home.
Family run Kilmore Quay Fine Foods also took home an award for their innovative alternative to pork sausages. Their Seafood Sausages, which are made from prime fillets of hake and salmon, gained the top spot in the Fresh Fish Dishes section. The judges loved the idea behind the product and thought that they might help to encourage children to eat more fish.
Judges gave the product high praise, saying:'Excellent product, great taste, brilliant fish content, good packaging, super idea.'
The company has been working directly with local fishermen to source the very best Irish seafood available since 1993.
Zanna Cookhouse, a small family business located in the south of the county which took its first products to market in 2007, was flying high in the quiche, pies and pastry section, scooping first prize for their handmade Irish Goats Cheese and Caramelised Red Onion Tart. The tart, which is part of the Dunnes Stores Simply Better Range, was praised by judges for its 'great flavour of goat's cheese'. Zanna was also highly commended for its second Dunnes Stores Simply Better Quiche Ham and mature Irish Cheddar'
'It is beautifully filled, with sweetness to the taste and fine balance.'
Over 350 food and drink products were shortlisted in 85 categories. The awards were open to all food and drink retailers, producers and manufacturers across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards were launched in 2013. They are unique in that they reward great tasting products, with the finest of flavours, textures and aromas. They reward nutritious products, while also recognising innovation, great packaging and presentation.
The awards themselves are organised into sections, quality food awards and alcoholic drinks for the retail sector and were presented at the Round Room, Mansion House, in Dublin.