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The local food and drink products bringing the yum at the Weetabix Food and Drink Awards

Anna Murby looks at tasty treats and tipples to tickle the taste buds

woman in purple eating Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

If you find yourself searching for divine drinks and perfect products to help sustain you through lockdown and beyond, look no further than the amazing array of treats which are finalists in this year’s Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards!

Two dozen of the finest – from wines to ciders, pickles to pies – and all made right here in the county, now find themselves in the battle to take gold, silver or bronze in their respective of three categories, and ultimately the much-needed and timely boost to business that such success inevitably brings.

The three prestigious categories and their finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Addington Garden Cider – Addington Garden Cider, Great Addington

Blue Aurora Dusk – Lutton Farm, Lutton

Blue Aurora Ice – Lutton Farm, Lutton

Blue Aurora Midnight – Lutton Farm, Lutton

Frogstar – Hollowild Cider, Hollowell

Hogtopus – Hollowild Cider, Hollowell

Perfect Pear – Healy’s of Winwick, Winwick

Stonyfield Rosé 2016 – Stonyfield Wine, Blisworth

Artisan Local Product of the Year (sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Apple and Fig Chutney – Friars Farm, Northampton

Basic B!t@h – Brooklyn Brownie Co, Northampton

Extra Apricot and Pineapple Jam – Green Kitchen Preserves, Northampton

Fiorentina Beef Ribs – Squisito Butchers & Provisions, Yelvertoft

Giardiniera – Nakasero, Northampton

Mango Caramel Popcorn – What’s Poppin’, Northampton

Nettle Ice Cream – Ganders Goat, Cottingham

Sweet Potato Pie with Spinach and Tomato – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

Artisan Local Vegetarian / Vegan Product of the Year (sponsored by Daily Bread):

Chocolate and Courgette Cake – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

Giardiniera – Nakasero, Northampton

Habanero and Red Onion Relish – Bite Me Spices, Northampton

Lime Pickle – Papa’s Dhaba, Northampton

Matcha Tea Brownies – Pure and Raw Goodies, Northampton

Salted Vanilla Popcorn – What’s Poppin’, Northampton

Sara’s Parmigiana – Squisito Butchers & Provisions, Yelvertoft

Savoury Vegetable Pie – Sol Laug Havens CIC, Moulton

Last year, the Vegetarian/Vegan title was awarded to Mindy Robinson from Sophisticake Creations in Northampton for her vegan Zucchini and Walnut Cake and, even now, she says she feeling the benefits of that success: “I can still recall the overwhelming sense of surprise and delight when my name was read out at last year’s dinner and that news had a great impact in raising awareness of my business” revealed Mindy.

“Of course I’ve faced challenges in the last few months like any other food producer but my success has given me the confidence to face those head on and indeed prompted me not only to run some online bakery courses during our first lockdown but also to enter the same cake into the Great Taste Awards, gaining two stars!

“I would never have achieved any of that without the boost of the Northamptonshire competition and so I wish good luck to all of the finalists this year and trust they too will enjoy reaping the rewards that I’m sure await them!” she added.

The results of these three categories, alongside those categories whose finalists are able to remain trading during lockdown, will be announced at the first course of the virtual online Awards celebration, taking place at 7pm on Thursday 12th November. To watch the event, visit www.youtube.com and search #WNFAD20.

Owing to lockdown, the results of the remaining categories celebrating the hospitality sector – such as Booker Dining Venue, World Cuisine Restaurant and Chef of the Year – will be announced at the second course of the virtual online Awards celebration at a later date, once restrictions have been lifted.

All categories will, for this unprecedented year only, see finalists awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze.

For more information on the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2020/21, please visit www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk or call Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or email rachel@themallowscompany.com Meanwhile for further details, including news of the finalists in the remaining categories and details of how you can join the second course of the virtual Awards celebration when they are announced, follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards.

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