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Blas na hÉireann Food Awards Winners Announced

The Irish food Oscars honour the best in the business.

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The winners of Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, have been announced and Green Pastures Donegal has taken the Supreme Champion award for 2019.

The winning product was Green Pastures Donegal Soft Cheese,  while County Armagh’s Burren Balsamics was voted Best Artisan Product this year. 

 Brian McDermott accepting the award on behalf of Green Pastures Donegal
Brian McDermott accepting the award on behalf of Green Pastures Donegal

The family-run Green Pastures Donegal is based Convoy, Co. Donegal, and combines the tradition of cheese making with technology to create a range of dairy products. The company champions a natural by nature sustainability programme and works closely with its milk supply farms to support sustainable farming practices.

Speaking about the win, John Molloy from Green Pastures Donegal said, “This is a huge accolade for us, it’s great to know that our knowledge of cheese making mixed with a modern approach is producing an award-winning cheese. We must thank the farmers we work with also who ensure we get the best possible quality milk to work with.”

Susie Hamilton-Stubber from Burren Balsamics
Susie Hamilton-Stubber from Burren Balsamics

Now in their 12th year, the Blas na hÉireann awards are the largest food awards on the island of Ireland, open to all 32 counties. The judging process is the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country. It’s based on criteria which were developed by Blas na hÉireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen and are now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide. The judging panel features people from all sorts of backgrounds and includes chefs, restaurateurs, academics, journalists, caterers and home cooks.

This year, over 2,500 entries were judged in UCC, with finalists in each of the 140 categories whittled down to just five. Judging day took place in Dingle, Co Kerry where all 350 producer finalists had their products tasted and judged at the Blas na hÉireann final.

Other winners this year included:

The Truffle Fairy,  Co. Kilkenny, Best New Product

Morgans,  Co. Louth, Seafood Innovation sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara

A Bit On The Side,  Co. Meath, Best Start Up sponsored by Bank Of Ireland

Jerry Kennedys Butchers, Co. Kerry, Rogha na Gaeltachta sponsored by Udaras na Gaeltachta 

The Truffle Fairy,  Co. Kilkenny, Best in Leinster

Cooleeney, Co. Tipperary, Best in Munster

Wildwood Balsamics,Co. Mayo, Best in Connaught

Green Pastures Donegal, Co. Donegal, Best in Ulster

For more information on the awards go to the Irish Food Awards website.