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What judges really look for in award-winning foods Wine News

Food rewards are big business. Over the past two decades, the number has exploded. There are the BOOM Awards (organic) of the Soil Association, the British Pie Awards, the Academy of Chocolate Awards, the Dalemain Marmalade Awards, the British Charcuterie Awards and the British Cheese Awards, not to mention the World Cheese Awards, based in the United Kingdom. -United. And they keep coming: next year is the inaugural World Jam Awards in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

But while the stickers on jars and packages featuring awards, medals, stars and trophies are eye-catching, do they really have any meaning? It’s tempting to think of the rewards as a whiff of paid marketing, an edible version of Ineverwentto University correspondence certificates. What is the point?

In fact, I’ve judged all of the awards listed above (fingers crossed for the Jam Awards) and they’ve been rigorous and well-honed. Judges, not just fickle culinary writers but people working in the food industry with decades of experience and in-depth knowledge, take their responsibility very seriously. Debates about merits – and flaws – can be fascinating, and I am proud to support the results.

With stores and supermarket shelves filled with produce, the choice can be confusing, and a trustworthy reward helps us direct shoppers to those worth supporting, and even spending a little more of our money. hard earned money.

Still, it’s worth checking the rewards credentials before loading your cart. I once ruled a turkey contest where some of the entries were indeed whole turkeys (an “oven-ready” turkey roll with an odd squeaky texture was memorable for all the wrong reasons), as the jury unanimously refused to award a prize in any of the categories. We later found out that the event organizers had ignored us and awarded a prize to, yes, that turkey roll.

Look at the pricing website. Industry prices, like turkey, may have a different agenda than consumer prices, focusing on innovation (processing techniques, for example, or shelf life extension techniques ), packaging and mass market appeal, such as trendy flavors that drive sales. Consumer awards – like the ones I mentioned – should really focus exclusively on the quality of the food.

The best prizes make the judgment “blind”, so that no one in the jury knows what they are tasting. This means that they are not swayed by name, packaging, or price, which is especially important when a chic brand is faced with a cheap brand.

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This notice was published: 2021-10-04 09:00:00

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