The annual all-island food awards are in their 12th year and the excitement for this year's competition has begun as entries have opened!
Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, recognises the very best Irish food and drink products and the passionate people behind them. Each year, new products are discovered and favourites are reinvigorated and given new emphasis in the market as they receive accolades for their produce, from craft gin to artisan cheese, there are categories to cover all of Ireland's best producers.
Entries are open to producers across all categories of food and drink with the early bird discounted rate for entries running until 30th April. Entries will finally close on June 15th.
Often dubbed the Oscars of Irish food, they are the largest food awards on the island, open to all 32 counties, with judging taking place during June and July, finalists notified in August, and finalist judging in Dingle, the home of the awards, in October. With workshops and masterclasses taking place also, the final Blas na hÉireann 2019 awards will be presented alongside producer networking events on October 5th during the Dingle Food Festival, always an unmissable event for food lovers.
Blas na hÉireann accreditation
A survey carried out with 100 past winners showed that 81% had seen an increase in sales after displaying the Blas na hÉireann sticker with 28%of those surveyed saying that they saw an increase in sales of over 20%.
“Blas na hÉireann awards have a quantifiable impact on any winner’s bottom line,” says Artie Clifford, Chairperson and founder of Blas na hÉireann, “whether it’s raising the profile of a producer’s product, or getting the attention of chefs, retailers or the general food-loving public. The independent endorsement of a Blas award is a recognised quality guarantee that can help get a product onto the shelves of a particular retailer or onto a restaurant menu. It’s also always a huge boost for an individual producer, an appreciation for all their hard work and a moment to savour their achievements in a busy and often pressurised working life. The Blas na hÉireann awards event in Dingle each year has become an unmissable shop window for the general public, media and trade to meet, discover and appreciate some of the country’s best producers but, even more importantly, it has become an opportunity for the Irish food community to come together and celebrate their successes.”
The founding mission of Blas – establishing quality benchmarks for Irish produce on a level playing field – is strictly adhered to and measurably applied.
Blas na hÉireann 2019 Categories
- Bacon products a) Rasher and b) Other bacon products
- Beef (value added) a) Fillet, b) Sirloin/Striploin, c) Ribeye, d) Burger style, e) Roast, f) Bone in, and g) Other
- Cold Meats, Cured Meat, Charcuterie a) Beef, b) Ham, c) Poultry, and d) Other
- Lamb (value added) a) Lamb Prepared and b) Lamb
- Other Meats (value added)
- Pork (value added)
- Poultry (value added) a) Chicken, b) Chicken prepared, c) Duck and Other Poultry, and d) Turkey
- Puddings a) Black pudding and b) White pudding
- Sausages a) Breakfast sausages, b) Flavoured sausages, and c) Other Meat sausages
- Dairy a) Butter, b) Butter, flavoured, c) Cream, d) Cream fermented, e) Milk, f) Milk other, g) Yoghurt flavoured, and h)Yoghurt plain
- Ice Cream & Sorbets a) Ice-cream, b) Sorbets, and c) Frozen Yoghurts
- Cheese a) Blue, b) Goats, c) Hard, d) Hard Added Flavour, and e) Soft & Semi-Soft
- Seafood Products a) Cold Smoked, b) Hot Smoked, c) Prepared Fish, and d) Prepared Shellfish
- Terrines/ Pates a) Meat, b) Seafood, and c) Vegetarian
- Savoury Pies/ Quiche
- Soups & Chowders a) Soups Meat & Chowders, and b) Soups Vegetable
- Ready Meals & Prepared Foods (Hot) a) Fish, b) Meat, c) Sausage Rolls, d) Stuffing, e) Dough Based, f) Vegetarian, and g) Potato
- Ready Meals & Prepared Foods (Cold) a) Fish, b) Meat, and c) Vegetarian
- Baby Food & Children’s Foods
- Bread a) Craft Bakers Soda Bread, b) Craft Baker’s Yeast Bread, and c) Sourdough, d) Packaged White Bread, and e) Packaged Bread Not White
- Traditional Irish Barm (Yeast) Brack
- Sweet Dough Goods (Including Tea brack & Sweet Buns)
- Morning Baked Goods (Including Baps, Teacakes & Scones)
- Continental Style Breads (Including Brioche, Ciabatta, Focaccia, Bagels)
- Pastries & Tarts a) Pastries inc. Danish, Croissant, Pain Au Chocolate and b) Tarts
- Dietary Specific Foods a) Dietary Specific Bread, b) Dietary Specific Gluten-Free Products & Ingredients, c) Dietary Specific Gluten-Free Baked Goods, and d) Dietary Specific - Other Certification to verify product claim required
- Ready Mix Cakes & Breads a) Breads & Other Savoury Ready-Mix, and b) Cakes & Other Sweet Ready Mix
- Puddings & Desserts
- Cakes a) Chocolate, b) Other, and c) Chocolate Biscuit
- Christmas Cakes & Puddings a) Christmas Cakes, Pies, Crumbles, Other b) Christmas Puddings
- Biscuits/ Snacks (sweet) a) Biscuits b) Other sweet snacks c) Popcorn Sweet
- Chocolate a)Bars, b) Collections, and c) Individual Chocolates
- Breakfast Cereal a) Granola, b) Muesli, and c) Porridge & Cereals
- Savoury Sauces, Condiments & Pantry a) Chutney, b) Dressings, c) Hummus, d) Jellies, e) Mustard, f) Oils, g) Oils Flavoured, h) Pesto, i) Pickle, j) Relish, k) Salt, l) Salt Flavoured, m) Savoury Sauces & Dips Egg Based, n) Savoury Sauces Tomato Based, o) Savoury Sauces Other, p) Seasonings, and q) Vinegars
- Sweet Sauces, Preserves & Pantry a) Conserve, b) Honey, c) Marmalade, d) Preserve, e) Sweet Spreads, and f) Sweet sauces & Dips
- Savoury Snacks a) Crisps, b) Popcorn, and c) Other
- Hot Beverages a) Coffee, b) Tea, and c) Other Hot Drinks
- Non-alcoholic Drinks a) Carbonated, b) Cordials, c) Fruit based, and d) Vegetable based
- Spirits & Liqueurs a)Dark Spirits & Liqueurs and b) White Spirits & Liqueurs
- Beers a) Ale, b) Beer & Lager, and c) Stout
- Ciders a) Medium/Dry, b) Sweet, and c) Special such as sparkling
- Chef's Larder (includes a subcategory for eggs) This should be ingredients, specialist product or recipe staple, which a chef would find to be a valuable part of their larder. This can include, but is not exclusive to, catering/food service products.
Entries for Blas na hÉireann 2019 received online between 17th March and 30th of April are at the discounted early bird fee of €60 per entry (ex VAT). The full entry fee, applicable from 1st May to 15th June is €75 per entry (ex VAT).
For more information, visit irishfoodawards.com.