Now in its 14th year, Blas na hEireann, The Irish Food Awards is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. In 2020 they faced the most unusual year to date and they are proud to say our judging and awards went ahead. Products from every county in Ireland were entered into the 2020 competition to win Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in a broad range of food and drink categories as well as key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.
The Blas awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas na hEireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC, is now recognised as an international industry standard.
Research has shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers and using the award logo on packs encourages shoppers to buy these products. It is their guarantee of a top quality Irish product.
This year we are very proud to say that our members brought back 13 awards to the Boyne Valley. A huge congratulations to them and to all the winning producers from around the country.
Carlingford Oyster Company
Carlingford Oysters was established in 1974, by Peter Louet Feisser. It is currently owned and managed by his son Kian and daughter in law Mary.
They grow their oysters in the pristine class A waters of Carlingford Lough. They feed from the naturally occurring plankton and the unique mix of local minerals, which wash down from the mountain streams, produce our oyster’s distinctive taste, texture and colour. The oysters are grown in mesh bags fixed to steel trestles, which stand on the sea bed, the water flows through the mesh bags and carries the plankton and nutrients to the oysters. When the oysters are ready for sale, they are graded, purified and packed ready for sale to wholesalers and restaurants worldwide.
They won Silver for their Gigas Oyster at this year's Blas awards.
A Bit on the Side
We Are Going To Revolutionize The Way You Think About Jelly! This was Hilary McGrath's mission when she began creating delicious savoury jellies in her kitchen in Oldcastle, County Meath. Since then, A Bit on the Side has continued to grow and thrive winning many awards along the way, and this year their newly-released Green Jalapeno Jellyand their Red Jalapeno Jelly has made it to the finals.
They won Bronze for their Green Jalapeno Jelly.
Clarke's Fresh Fruit
Pat Clarke trading as Clarke’s Fresh Fruit, has established a reputation for the production of quality fresh Irish fruit over the past 60 years. The flavoursome berries are grown, picked, packed and dispatched on the family farm daily.
Situated in East Meath near the village of Stamullen, Clarke’s is a family run business growing strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries and blueberries over 75 acres.
They won Silver for their Clarke's Fresh Fruit No Added Sugar Jam
“The Fresh Turkey Specialists” brother’s Fintan and Paul Hogan are 2nd generation turkey farmers, based in Kells, Co. Meath. Hogan’s Farm have been rearing turkeys for over 50 years.
Using their extensive knowledge, the brothers have developed their expertise into rearing their own specialist turkey breed – the Charlesfort Turkey. With an ingrained passion for rearing and producing multi- award winning fresh turkey products, the Charlesfort Turkey range expanded with the development of the Award Winning Traditional Free Range Woodland Bronze Turkey. These slow rearing traditional American black turkeys are reared outside in the woodlands on Charlesfort Estate, home of Hogan’s Farm. Free to roam all day and night in the woodlands and grasslands, these exceptional turkeys are reared exclusively for the Irish Christmas market.
They won Gold for their Simply Better Irish Slow Reared Heritage Bronze Turkey Crown Stuffed with Seasonal Stuffing and Topped with a Whiskey Cured Bacon Lattice.
Bronze for their Dunnes Stores Free Range Boneless Fresh Irish Reared Turkey Breast Joint wrapped in Streaky Bacon.
McCormack Family Farms
A 2nd generation family farm growing baby salad leaves, herbs, microgreens and edible flowers in Kiltale, Co. Meath. They grow a wide range of our baby salad leaves which are all unwashed to stay naturally fresher for longer.
They were awarded the Chef's Larder award for their Signature Tastes Growing Pea Shoots.
Newgrange Gold Rapeseed Oil is grown and produced in the heart of the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. Their rapeseed is grown using the best tillage techniques, even their Bees assist in the pollination of our crop. When they cold press their rapeseed they create the finest oil, high in essential fatty acids - omega 3, 6 and 9 and low in saturated fat. Their oil is 100% traceable because their seed is grown, pressed and bottled entirely in the Boyne Valley. The oil is a fantastic culinary oil with an amazing fruity taste, which is great as an incredibly healthy cooking oil, salad dressing, for frying and other culinary uses such as making homemade mayonnaise and baking.
They won Silver for their Supervalu Irish Rapeseed Oil.
Roll It Pastry
In 2013 Mairead Finnegan set about creating a range of pastry made using only Irish butter in her home kitchen in Kells Co Meath. Mairead wanted to create delicious all butter pastry that tasted as good as home made pastry but that was a convenient and ready to use.
She experimented with many pastry recipes including those she grew up with at home and from there she created the first two products in the range, sweet shortcrust and plain shortcrust. To avoid using preservatives and in order to retain the home made quality of the pastry products Mairead decided to sell them frozen.
They won Gold for their Roll It All Butter Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry.
They were also awarded the Chef's Larder award for their Roll It All Butter Puff Pastry.
What's For Pudding
The Flaherty family make really delicious dessert puddings, full of all the superior tastes of authentic, homemade fare. They have been making puddings for years for family and friends and now they are delighted to produce them for you their valued customers.
They won Gold for their Dunnes Stores Simply Better Handmade Rum Butterscotch Sauce.
They also won the Best in County Meath for their Dunnes Stores Simply Better Handmade Rum Butterscotch Sauce.
Sheridan's have worked hard to gain the reputation as Ireland's leading cheese retailer. They believe that the single most important factor in this has been the experience, which customers have each and every time they shop with them; from the quality of produce, to the always knowledgeable and friendly staff, to the way they serve and present cheese, they are always keen for the customer to participate, and taste and learn as they buy!
Their kitchen has created a small range of great products with the Sheridans Cheesemongers brand. These are our award-winning Brown Bread Crackers for Cheese, Rye & Linseed and Mixed Seed Crackers for Cheese; Duck Confit, Pesto and Chutney for Cheese.
They won Silver for their Carrig Bru.
MacNamee's Teas are carefully selected from tea gardens all over the world, blended and then packed here in Skerries Co. Dublin. They don’t nor do their supply partners use chemicals or artificial flavourings in our teas. They run our business holistically taking social, economic and environmental impacts into consideration.
Their skilled team pack in small batches by hand every couple of days, and they enjoy what they do and have a passion for tea.
They won Bronze Irish Breakfast.
Killua Castle Food is a deer and lamb meat producer, 100% traceable, parkland, grass feed.
This year they Gold for their Venison Steaks and Bronze for their Venison Burgers with Mushroom and Smoked Cheese.