Hannan Meats triumphs at Great Taste Awards
A Northern Ireland meat business has seen off the competition of over 8,800 products to be crowned the Supreme Champion in the Great Taste Awards 2012.
Hannan Meats, a wholesale company based in Moira, won the prestigious award for its Moyallon Guanciale, an authentic Italian bacon product made from unsmoked pig’s jowl, herbs, spices and red wine.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at The Royal Garden Hotel in London.
Guild of Fine Food chairman Bob Farrand said: “This is simply an exquisite example of a product that has its roots in Italy but has been made brilliantly in Great Britain. Our judges were unanimous in their appreciation of the guanciale, which uses traditional skills to turn what is essentially a humble pig’s cheek into a sublime dry-cured bacon – almost a case of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
The Great Taste Awards accreditation scheme, run by the Guild of Fine Food, celebrates the best-quality foods currently being produced in the UK. This year around 8,807 products were judged by 350 professional food writers and buyers, with around 2,793 products being awarded a one-, two- or three-star gold. From the 123 products which won a coveted three-star gold, 50 were put through to vie for the overall supreme title.
The company started making the product at the request of Italian restaurants that it supplies, as guanciale, an authentic ingredient in many pasta dishes from Umbria and Lazio in central Italy, is not produced in the UK and has become increasingly rare in Italy. The meat is dry-cured with fennel and thyme, sugar, peppers, spices, garlic and red wine to produce a flavour that is stronger than pancetta but with a more delicate, subtle texture.