Seeded crackers from The Bread Factory and an English muffin from The Flour Station, alongside Dunnes Stores Simply Better Irish Handmade All Butter Sticky Toffee Pudding, made by Royal County Puddings, were selected in the shortlist.
The Top 50, from which the Supreme Champion will be selected, have been whittled down from 10,000 entries by over 500 judges, comprising food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, cooks, producers and a host of food writers and journalists, who blind-tasted each product. Judges included Tom Herbert from Gloucestershire-based Hobbs House Bakery. Each product in the Top 50 has scored three stars and then been re-judged to find the Top 50, according to The Guild.
The Bread Factory’s seeded crackers are made with buttermilk and topped with a mix of different seeds. Judges said each seed “added a new dimension of flavour” and they loved the brittle snap of the crackers. The Flour Station’s English muffins are enriched with whole milk and baked on a skillet. Judges said they were “the perfect vehicle for all sorts of toppings or smothered in butter”. Meanwhile Dunnes’ Sticky Toffee Pudding was described as a real show stopper, being “unctuous, moreish, squidgy and moist”.
Speaking to British Baker, Tara Griffin of The Flour Station said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Flour Station English muffins have been recognised in the Top 50 Foods. It’s amazing to know that the hard work of our bakers is being acknowledged in this way. We’ve always insisted that this product should be baked on a skillet in the traditional fashion (rather than oven-baked) and it’s wonderful to see that this time-honoured method is still appreciated in this day and age.”
Producers will be allowed to display the gold and black Great Taste Top 50 Foods accolade on their award-winning products, but they will have to wait to see if they also scoop the top awards for their region and who will be crowned the Supreme Champion for 2016. These will be announced at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner in London on Monday 5 September.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explained: “Once again, The Top 50 Foods shines a light on the work of some outstanding producers. With everything from chocolate and cheese to coffee and curd now able to proudly display this hard-earned stamp of excellence, consumers can now once again enjoy searching for the latest Top 50 Foods in delis, farm shops, restaurants and cafes everywhere.”