Here they are, the raw and superfood judges hard at it on day one of the judging for the FreeFrom Food Awards 2015! And a fine selection of products they had to judge too. From superfood protein powders to wheat grass shots, melon juice to beetroot ketchup and kale chips to raw chocolate truffles.
Not that easy to adjust your tastebuds from activated shiitake seeds to ‘decadently pure salted caramel chocolate’ but that is what being judge is all about, and leaping from protein mixes to Maqui berry truffles did not in any way dent their ability to assess, discuss and dispute…. However, accord was established and we went on to the mega Store cupboard category.
Here we had a massive entry of mixes – cake mixes, brownie mixes, bread mixes, stuffing mixes, pudding mixes – along with dozens of sauces and stir fry marinades, stock pots, ketchups, tamaris and even egg free meringues!
This was a lengthy tasting (51 products) but probably easier than the raw food as there were larger groups of similar products and judges had time to adjust their thoughts and their tastebuds before moving on to the next one.
Not that that in anyway dulled their appetite for disputation! Was the fact that this product was really hard to make sufficient justification for an award even if the result was not earth shattering? Since that product was naturally gluten free but was a really fabulous product, did that in any way disqualify it from getting an award? (Absolutely not, was the answer to that question as we are very keen that manufacturers use ingredients that are naturally gluten or dairy free in the creation of ‘naturally’ freefrom products.)
Anyhow, good decisions, we all felt, were made – we just hope that you all agree when you come to taste them in the winners’ buffet at the awards presentation party in April…. Tomorrow, on to Pasta and Pizza in the morning – and Puddings and Desserts in the afternoon… All that ice cream! Yeah!!
* Raw Foods and Superfoods – sponsored by Tiana Fair Trade Organics – Tiana’s MD, Tanya Harris, joined us for the Raw Food session – she is second from right above.
* Store Cupboard – sponsored by Sainsbury’s
Other (visible) judges, from the left: Sue Cane, our beer expert; Susanna Booth (with her head down scribbling hard); Grace Cheetham (whose latest gluten and dairy-free cook book is just out), Tanya from Tiana and nutritionist Christine Bailey, who also organises the children’ day for us and who also has a sheaf of new e-books.