County excels at Blas na h'Éireann food awards
Thirteen local businesses showcased the quality of food products created in county Wexford by having major success in this years prestigious Blas na h'Eireann awards.
Now in its 12th year, the awards recognise the very best Irish food and drink products, and the passionate people behind them.
The Wexford businesses, which won bronze, silver, and gold awards, across a range of categories included: Fancy Fungi Gourmet Mushrooms Ltd; Irish Country Meats; Kelly's Bakery; Killowen; Naturally Cordial; O'Neills Dry Cure Bacon Co; Scúp Gelato; Stafford's Bakery; Tara Hill Honey; Tasty Parlour; Wexford Home Preserves; Wild About, and Zanna Cookhouse.
Scúp Gelato won the best in Wexford award while Wild About won the best farmers' market in Wexford accolade.
The owners of Enniscorthy based O'Neill's Dry Cure Bacon, Pat and Mary O'Neill, were overjoyed to accept a gold award for their Dry Cured Back Rashers and their delight was shared by all of the other Wexford winners.
'We are absolutely thrilled with this award,' said Pat O'Neill.
'We want to thank our team who put a huge amount of time and care into creating our product.'
Another business, Naturally Cordial, won gold, silver and bronze awards for three of its products - scooping all of the awards in the non-alcoholic drinks cordial category.
The Blas na h'Éireann awards are the biggest 'blind-tasting' accolades of produce in the country and the criteria on which products are judged, as well as the judging system itself is recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide.
What that means is that all of the award winners can confidently say their respective products are among the best available anywhere in the world.
All packaging and identifying features are removed from products before they are presented for judging and this creates a level playing field for all entrants regardless of the size of their business.
Speaking after the announcement of winners, Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann, said it was another 'exceptional year' which highlighted the 'hard work of some of the country's most innovative, forward-thinking and disciplined food entrepreneurs'.