On 17 October 2021, 355 judges have blind-tasted 14,113 different products from 108 countries. It took these experts 86 days to come to a conclusion and select the tastiest food products from all over the world. These numbers reveal an undeniable truth: in the end, it’s all about taste.
What are The Great Taste Awards?
Have you ever bought an artisan product that you had never seen or tasted before, only because it had a black and golden ‘Great taste’ sticker? Of course, you did. Over the previous 25 years, we all have become familiar with this quality stamp. For good reasons!
Established in 1994, Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is widely acknowledged as the world’s largest, longest-standing, and most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and specialty food producers. Judges include the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retail buyers, cooks, producers, and a host of food writers, journalists, and social media influencers from across the world of food and drink. Every year thousands of contendents are competing to have this most-wanted ‘Great Taste’ sticker on their products. Call it the Olympics of food if you wish.
Over the years, Grondona has been honored not less than 3 times at this prestigious award show, confirming what we already knew: we have great taste in our blood. If you didn’t have the chance yet to taste Pandolcini Antica Genova, Baci di Dama, and Ciambellone, don’t hesitate to go for it. You’ll love the exquisite taste of these traditional products.
Why does the world need ‘Great Taste’?
All over Europe, the amount of independent food shops has been decreasing for years. In 1993 in the UK for example, less than 1400 independent fine food shops were left. Specialty food and drink, along with the shops that sold it, were disappearing fast. The alarm bell sounded too loud to ignore. Several individuals from the fine food industry fund the creation of the Guild of Fine Food. The concept is simple: retailers and producers need to work together in order to convince consumers that high-quality, great-tasting food is mostly prepared in small batches by dedicated makers using fresh, honest ingredients. For the Guild of Fine Food, The Great Taste Awards were a logical step to reward producers and convince retailers and consumers to sell and buy traditional quality products like Grondona has to offer.
Grondona on the Great Taste Timeline
Great Taste is born. Judging takes place for the first Great Taste awards; less than a hundred foods in five different classes take twelve experts no more than three hours to blind taste.
The number of entries keeps rising, topping 1000 for the first time in 1999. Two years later blind-tasting takes an entire week at the Westminster Kingsway Catering College, London.
Consumers begin to recognise the black-and-gold logo on jars, packets, bottles, and bags. Major retailers and companies associated with the fine food world come on board as sponsors and supporters.
For the first time, an entry cap of 10,000 products is introduced by the Great Taste team to ensure the judging process remains rigorous and robust. One of these products turns out to be Grondona’s Pandolcini Antica Genova.
Grondona strikes again. Out of a record number of 12,634 entries, blind-judged by a panel of over five hundred experts, including chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics, and writers, 2 products of Grondona get rewarded: Baci di Dama and Ciambellone.
The success-saga continues. A never-seen number of 14,113 different products from 108 countries were entered. The Great Taste Golden Forks were announced at a live awards ceremony on Sunday 17 October.
What the jury had to say
For many jury members, the blind-tasting opened their eyes to the outstanding qualities of Grondona products. Please read along while we share some of their remarks with you:
- Amazing size and shape. Smells like panettone. A really good quantity of fruit, sultanas, raisins, and orange peel are all visible. Didn’t get the sourdough taste but that didn’t matter as we loved the denseness and flavour. Really original! (Ciambellone)
- Impressive size and scale to this bread with a festive look about it. Ideal for sharing. Slices are rich and bursting with fruit and peel with a distinctive citrus aroma. The flavour is rich in egg and has well-balanced acidity. (Ciambellone)
- Good rustic form to this classic Italian biscuit. Looks artisan: great golden colour. Smells of hazelnut, good ratio of chocolate to biscuit. We like the size! Lovely buttery biscuit, not too sweet. We couldn’t find anything we didn’t like! (Baci di Dama)
Great taste, no coincidence
When it comes to taste, there is no such thing as coincidence. At Grondona, we know that greatness is only achieved by hard work, respect for tradition, and the sourcing of the right genuine ingredients. A simple taste is the hardest to achieve, so our recipes do not allow compromises. Grondona uses only genuine ingredients, whilst colorants, preservatives, artificial flavours, that so often distort the true taste, are banned. What you taste is what you get: lemon and its juice, water distilled from flowers of orange, anise seeds, vanilla beans from Madagascar. It’s all real, exactly the same as it used to be decades ago.
Every decision in our production process contributes to the taste. Some examples: for our candied fruit, pears, apples, peaches, pineapple, orange peels are rich in flavour and natural aroma because we pluck and use them in the right season. After carefully selecting whole hazelnuts from Piedmont, we peel and roast them ourselves. Raisins from Smyrna, cultivated and dried under the Turkish sun, are checked and selected by hand. Our butter is always of the highest quality: pure butter obtained from fresh cream, without lactose, ethyl vanillin, or chemical dyes. When we use oil, it’s extra virgin olive oil. No compromise. Only the best is good enough.
We are proud to be rewarded with 3 Great Taste Awards for 3 different products. It strengthens our resolve to keep doing what we are doing to bring you the best products. Because, as you have been reading in this article, great taste is no coincidence. We want to thank the Guild of Fine Food for their efforts to support producers who keep investing in quality. So, next time when you see a black-and-golden sticker, don’t hesitate: buy the product behind the quality label and enjoy the … Great Taste!