Blas na hEireann

Tipp winners sweep the boards at Blas Awards

Niamh Dillon

Reporter:

Niamh Dillon

Email:

niamh.dillon@tipperarystar.ie

Tipp winners sweep the boards at Blas Awards

Aoife Nic Giollacoda, Galtee Hioney Farm, Tipperary with Donagh Murphy, Protech Plastics and John Sheehy

Food producers in Tipperary were out in force at last week's Blas na hEireann awards in Co. Kerry taking home a final tally of 13 awards back to the premier county.

The Blas awards, which celebrate the very best in Irish food and drink products, were handed out at a special ceremony in Dingle which marked the awards ninth year running.

Top winners from Tipperary included the multi award winning Cooleney Cheese who scooped gold for their Gortnamona goats cheese, much to the delight of their many Facebook fans who lined up to congratulate the company.

And it appears Tipperary is continuing to establish itself as the top cheese producer in the country with Cashel Blue Cheesemakers also scooping a silver award for their Cashel Blue product.

Also in winning form were honey producers Galtee Irish Honey and west Tipp based Ayle Foods who came first with their 'Elderflower and Apple Juice.' Ayle foods continued their winning streak later in the day by adding the titles of Best in Tipperary and Best in Farmers Market to their home score.

Elsewhere in the county Nenagh's Lisduff Fine Foods were given the silver nod for their black pudding while Fethard company Ribworld also took a silver medal for their barbecue spare ribs in the Ready Meals and prepared Foods category.

Crisp makers O'Donnell's were also in flying form having been named winners for their Mature Irish Cheese and Red Onion Crisps while Thurles company Crossogue Preserves were also winners in their category for their Mustard and Irish Stout entry as well as earning themselves a silver award for their sugar free raspberry spread. Crossogue Preserves was founded in 1995 by Veronica Molloy and now produces over 85 different types of preserves.

“We were thrilled to receive these awards from Blas na hEireann as whether it's gold, silver or bronze you have been selected as one of the best in Ireland and that is something really special,” Veronica told the Tipperary Star this week .

More than 2500 products were entered across a total of 120 categories in the ninth annual Blas awards which celebrate the very best in Irish food and drink products. The Blas na hEireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country.

This year marks the ninth year of the Irish food awards Blas na hEireann and since its inception, the competition has grown hugely year on year both in terms of size and stature and are now recognised as the ultimate benchmark for quality Irish produce.

Research has also shown that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition among Irish consumers and using the award logo on packs encourages shoppers to buy these products.