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  • Jan England

Great Taste Awards 2024

I have had the privilege of being a Great Taste Judge again this year for the Guild of Fine Food. Apart from during Covid, I have been doing this since 2019, but for 2024 increased my commitment to a total of 4 sessions.

During the course of each session, the room full of judges tastes around 40 products each, ranging from honey, ice cream and chocolate through to beef, fish and olive oil. There have been about 13000 entries this year and we work in teams and are asked to rate each product on taste and appearance. We are given a description of the product but cannot see the branding or packaging.

Each product is considered as to whether it is "simply delicious" in which case it might be awarded 1 star, “outstanding” in which case it gets two stars or “exquisite” in which case it gets three stars. The products are passed around different tables of judges, especially when there are discrepancies between ratings.

What I think is great about the whole process, is that even though many products don’t make the grade, we provide constructive feedback and suggestions to the producers to help them identify ways in which they can improve the products. It strikes me that the process is very fair and considered. It is also really helpful working alongside food writers and chefs who are much better at articulating what we think and feel about the things we taste than I could ever be!

The 2024 star products will be announced later in the year, at the end of July. These days, I always look for the stars when I am shopping because I know that if something even has one star, it is going to be worth trying!



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