Amble-based boutique ice cream makers Spurreli have become the latest Northumberland producer to pick up a top honour at the prestigious annual Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards.
The family run business clinched the regional Golden Fork award for their Sicilian Pistachio Ice Cream.
Also in the final for the North Speciality title were Blaydon-based Beckleberry’s in Tyne and Wear with their Sour Cherry and Amaretto Sorbet and Ridley’s Fish and Game of Acomb, Northumberland, with their Wild Venison Strip Loin.
In 2009 Beckleberry’s were crowned the Great Taste Awards supreme champions with their Blackcurrant and Kirsch Sorbet – beating any other food product in the country.
This year saw 7,481 products entered from 1,600 companies. It took 350 experts 34 days to blind taste all the entries and decide which ones were sublime enough to achieve the coveted one, two and three star gold awards.
Bob Farrand, Chairman for The Great Taste Awards, said: “Winning Gold in the country’s largest and most respected independent food accreditation scheme is a massive pat on the back for any producer – independent proof their products are of the highest quality.
“We provide constructive feedback from our expert judging teams and for many, winning 1, 2 or 3-star Gold is exactly what’s needed to help grow their businesses, even during a recession. Every winner should feel very proud that their hard work has been rewarded.
“Historically winning gold changes lives and transforms the fortunes of small food and drink businesses.”
Sandy Duncan, general manager of Taste North East, added: “The Great Taste Awards carry a tremendous amount of kudos. The award stars signify quality and assurance and are widely recognised among wholesalers and consumers.
“Winning one, two or three stars in the awards can have a huge impact on producers and their businesses and in times like these, producers need all the help they can get for their product to end up in the baskets and plates of shoppers and shelves of retailers.
“On behalf of Taste North East I would like to congratulate all the North East Great Taste Award winners. We are delighted their hard work has been rewarded. Special praise must go to Spurreli ice cream who, with their Sicilian Pistachio Ice Cream, were the overall North of England regional winner.”
For a full list of the Great Taste Award winners go to www.greattasteawards.co.uk