Blas na hEireann 2021 – Blas na hEireann Awards Maurice Gilbert of Ballyhoura Apple Farm who won Gold. Picture: Brian Arthur
Three producers from County Limerick have won Blas na hEireann 2021
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald
On Monday, October 4, three Limerick producers won Blas na hÉireann Awards, which are proudly supported by LEO Limerick, which were presented to them in Adare.
The Limerick winners are Ballyhoura Apple Farm, who won Gold and Best in the County, Cotter Organic Lamb, who won Silver and Kearney’s Home Baking Ltd., who also won Silver.
The judging took place in Dingle during July this year, and finalists were notified in August. The final Blas na hÉireann 2021 awards were announced virtually on Saturday, October 2.
As the annual pilgrimage to Dingle was stalled, this year’s award winners were presented with their awards by Deputy Mayor Tom Ruddle.
Deputy Mayor Ruddle said “Well done to all the winners here today. I know myself all the hard work that goes in to running a business, all the hours that have to be put in to make it a success. It is very rewarding to all the winners here today to be recognised for their excellence in the food sector.
“I would also like to congratulate all those who entered and those shortlisted for this year’s awards. It is a testament of the quality of produce we have here in Limerick with LEO Limerick and projects such as the West Limerick food series helping in bringing it to the fore.”
Head of LEO Mike Cantwell said, “LEO Limerick is delighted to see the high quality of Limerick foods recognised in Blas na hÉireann Awards 2021. These 2021 winners reflect the range and quality of food produced in Limerick and showcases the very best of what is available.
“During Covid-19, we have seen how people have supported their local producers by buying local, and the Blas na hÉireann badge helps support consumer-based choices and recognition of local brands.”
Chairperson of Blas na hÉireann Artie Clifford said, “Now, more than ever, it is essential to shine a light and give that all-important boost to the talented producers dotted around the island.”
Blas na hÉireann are now in their 14th year, and are the largest food awards on the island, open to all 32 counties. Often dubbed the Oscars of Irish food, they recognise the very best of Irish food and drink products, and the passionate people behind them.
Congratulations 2021 Blás naÉireann Limerick winners – @kearneyshomebakingltd @sheepgoesbaaaaaa @ballyhourapple Ballyhoura #blas2021 #Limerick #Lookforlocal #blasnaheireann #organiclamb #limerickapples #appletart #applejuice @limerickcouncil @limerick.ie @live95Limerick pic.twitter.com/RruXkfKGZx
— Local Enterprise Office Limerick (@leo_limerick) October 5, 2021
The Blas na hÉireann team have been working since March to ensure the Blas na hEireann Awards 2021 could go ahead, fulfilling their commitment to celebrate the very best of Irish food and drink.
They are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the county, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself was developed by Blas na hÉireann alongside the Food Science Department of UCC and the University of Copenhagen. It is recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide.
As the products are blind-tasted, all packaging and identifying features are removed from the products before being presented for judging, which creates a level playing field for all contestants. The judges come from a range of food backgrounds, from chefs to restaurateurs, academics, journalists, authors, food champions, caterers and enthusiastic home cooks.
Products entered into the competition have a chance at winning Gold, Silver of Bronze awards in over 150 food and drink categories, as well as key awards like Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.
For more about the Blas na hÉireann awards go HERE
For more stories about Blas na hÉireann go HERE