THE organic air-dried ham (prosciutto) produced by Berwickshire-based Peelham Farm Produce will be proudly displaying a coveted Great Taste 2012 logo after being judged by a panel of 350 of the nation’s most discerning food experts over 45 days.
Peelham is an organic farm and butchery at Foulden delivering products from its grass-fed beef, field-raised veal, lamb and free-range rare-breed pigs. It sells its products on-line, from farmers markets, through retail outlets and in restaurants. It is a family based business employing seven locally based personnel skilled in farm and butchery work.
To achieve Gold in Great Taste is a significant achievement for any food or drink producer and results are eagerly awaited. The scheme, run by the Guild of Fine Food, has been described as the epicurean equivalent of the Booker Prize and in 2012 a total of 8,807 different food and drink products were entered.
The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.
The business partners Amanda Cayley, Chris and Denise Walton are thrilled to receive the award which is a first for Peelham. Denise Walton who is the managing partner for the food production side of this organic food and farming business said: “This is a fabulous accolade for our wonderful, hard-working and dedicated team here at Peelham, having learnt the skills to produce prosciutto first hand with artisan producers in Italy and using them so successfully on our free-range rare-breed pork. This is a great ‘shot-in-the-arm’ for us having taken the risk to employ more people and add-value to our farm animals in this way. It will add even more resolve to our focus on producing organic excellence for a growing niche-market. This award puts us on a par with Spanish Iberico Ham – and what is more its organic”
Of all the entries into Great Taste 2012, only 123 gained a coveted 3-star gold, with the Top 50 from those nominated for a Golden Fork Award, the highest accolade in fine food and drink which will be announced at the Awards’ dinner at London’s Royal Garden Hotel this September.
Judges this year included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Charles Campion, food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay and over 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason. They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together.