And here we are, Bea, our lovely awards presenter and me. All ready to announce the winners of the first ever German awards, to a pretty packed audience at the back of a pretty packed Allergy + FreeFrom show in The Station in Berlin.
The awards had been a roaring success with over 150 entrants in year one (we had been hoping for around 50!) – coming from both local German food companies and a few UK freefrom manufacturers anxious to break into the burgeoning German market – Genius, Bute Island, Keogh’s crips from Ireland, the Coconut Collaborative.
Proceedings started with a brief history of freefrom and the FreeFrom Food Awards from me and then a fascinating short talk from Lucinda Bruce Gardyne of Genius Gluten Free (both sponsors and entrants into the awards) about the technicalities of making bread without that essential ingredient, gluten. Then it was on to the winners….
Breads and Breadmixes were won jointly by an organic and wonderful black-bread mix made by Bauck (a very happy winner as you can see!) – Bio Schwarzbrot, Backmischung, glutunfrei and by a gluten-free raisin bread – Spezial – Diāt- Bäckerei Poensgen Rosinenbrot.
Cakes & Sweet snacks also had joint winners – but two very different ones. The cake section was won, very much to their delight, by Genius Gluten Free with their Chocolate Muffins and the sweet snack section by some lovely dried fruity snacks from Päx Foods – Päx Food Knusprig gePÄXter Frucht-Mix Rot Süßwaren.
Breakfast cereals went to an organic, gluten-free oat and fruit muesli Bio Hafermüsli Früchte, glutunfrei which also came from Bauck – which made their happy representative, seen getting her certificate above, even happier!!
There were two snack winners, Convenience snacks and Health snacks. The convenience snacks went to Keogh’s Irish Atlantic Sea Salt Crisps; the healthy snacks to – yes, yet again, Bauck with their organic, harissa falafel mix – Bio Harissa Falafel, Fertigmischung, glutunfrei.
Pasta and Pizza winners were Dr Schär with their Lactose (and gluten) free Margherita Pizza, also, unless I am much mistaken, to be found in the UK, and another super excited winner, Ruki who make gluten-free, lactose-free, wheat-free fresh noodles, ravioli, dumplings and gnocchi.
The milk alternative category, which was sponsored by the German Vegan association, VEBU, was entirely taken over by Brits! Here are Bute Island receiving their award for their Original Creamy Sheese; their fellow winners were the Coconut Collaborative for their Mango and Passion fruit Yogurt.
Confectionery winner was a very delicious looking lemon lolly, Gurke-Zitrone and the drinks category was won by an old FreeFrom Food Awards favourite, Celia Organic!
There was also a large entry for the Vegan meat alternative category, a very popular food in Germany where vegans are a good deal more in evidence than in the UK. The winner here was a sort of ham loaf with paprika – Ruegenwalder Vegetarischer Schinken Spicker mit bunter Paprika.
However, the most unusual entry, which was also the winner, was for the Innovation category. This came from Katjes Magic Candy Factory – a 3-D printer which can create your own (as freefrom as you choose to make them) gummy candies!!
Katjes Magic Candy Factory actually had a printer at the show and was creating candies for us as we watched! In any shape or colour that you choose – you just need to feed in your chosen ingredients! If you are interested in how this actually works – check in to 3DPrint.com here were they have a full article about the Candy Factory and its developer Melissa Snover, the founder of the Goody Good Stuff range of gummy sweets.
So, a very successful launch for the latest FreeFrom Food Awards child!! Much fuller details of all the winners plus the commended and highly commended products will be on the German awards site very soon, just as soon as the team have got themselves back from Berlin and drawn breath….
Meanwhile, of course, they will be followed VERY rapidly by the one and only original FreeFrom Food Awards presentation in just eight days time on April 26th when all will be revealed at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park!
And just in case you think that all I did when in Berlin was to help present awards – oh no…. Coming up very soon, Daniel Libeskind’s extraordinary Jewish Museum – and the world’s most amazing sock shop!!!