THE top 40 Cumbrian food products have been revealed as part of the county’s prestigious Food & Drink Awards in association with Taste Cumbria.

The inaugural Taste Cumbria Gold Awards were handed out to meat, dairy, pudding, chutney and beer producers from all over the county at a Champagne reception at The Samling Hotel yesterday.

The best products were selected after a judging day at Kendal College in November when top Michelin starred chefs Simon Rogan from L’enclume in Cartmel and Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor in Lancashire, joined other industry experts to blind-taste and score 200 different products submitted for entry.

Forty Gold Awards were given out to products judged as nationally excellent. Ten of the highest scoring food products and the top scoring beer were judged as nationally outstanding and were subsequently awarded Gold Champion status. 

The Taste Cumbria Gold Award Champion products were:

• Lakeland Treacle Bread with walnuts and raisins (More? Artisan Bakery, Staveley)
• Stone baked, basket-risen wholemeal bread (Staff of Life, Kendal)
• Herdwick Hogget (Lakes Speciality Foods, Staveley)
• Eden Valley Organic Brie (Appleby Creamery, Appleby)
• Damson Fruit Cheese (Sweetmeat Company, Dockray, Ullswater)
• Eden Smokie cheese (Appleby Creamery, Appleby)
• Kendal Creamy cheese (Low Sizergh Barn, nr Kendal)
• Sloe & Crab Apple Jelly (Coniston Kitchen Larder, Coniston)
• Damson Jam (Sarah M, Sedbergh)
• Damson & Basil Jelly (Hawkshead Relish, Hawkshead)
• Mutiny (Stringers Beer, Ulverston)
Nigel Haworth said that they had come across some impressive products but they were particularly seeking those that represented the county: “What we were looking for were products that you can say portrayed the landscape of Cumbria and had a quality feel to them.”

Simon Rogan said he wanted producers to return to Cumbria’s food traditions and give them a fresh twist:  “In future, I would like to see a bit more historical reference brought to the fore but more innovation.”