Free From Food Awards – Delicious Developments in the Foodie World

As some of you lovely folks may know already I was oh so lucky to be judging last week at the Free From Food Awards in London.

There was such an amazing array of goodies to sample and there were certainly more then one occasion on the day where I was patting myself on the back for choosing my current line of work.

Read on to find out about some of the amazing products I got to try as well as a full list of the edible from the comp!

I was one happy little camper getting off the Tube in London two Sundays ago, excited for the next days judging. I had judged before at the Irish Quality Food Awards and was keen to see what different products might be available in the UK. I thouroughly enjoyed the irony that normally travel means lots of food planning and struggling to find gluten free food, but by the time Monday was over I would have tried somewhere between 30-40 new items!

Michelle and the whole team at the FFFA were just an absolute dream to work with and after judging we got to enjoy even more food (yes surprise surprise you’re still hungry!), good wine and great foodie chats. There were so many cool folks judging at the awards as well that it meant a lot of Instagram stalking that evening.

If you’ve never thought about where those proud little labels come from when you pick up something in a supermarket, here’s a rough idea of what goes on. Companies submit products they’re proud of, the lovely FFA people do a whole lot of sorting, organising and preparing and by the time it gets to us hungry judges we are assessing things like flavour, texture, appearance, “need in the market” (i.e. how innovative is it? will it be a brilliant breakthrough for gluten free/dairy free/nut free folk?) and to some extent price point – yes good ingredients cost more, but who wants a €12 granola?

BFree oath bread, super delicious toasted with some butter!

BFree oath bread, super delicious toasted with some butter!

Let them eat Brioche!

Let them eat Brioche!

We nibble away and comment and then rank our top products and then all our scored are pooled to give us the gold, silver, bronze and shortlisted. It was a wonderful mix of folk for our judging day with cookbook writers, bloggers, TV chefs, nutritionists and the mums of kids with all top 14 allergies. The passion of people defending their top products was definitely one of my favourite parts of the whole process!

Judges hard at work

Judges hard at work

Smoked cashew cheese

Smoked cashew cheese

So check out the list of tasty things on or coming to a shelf near you at the FFFA link here.

Let the judging begin!

Let the judging begin!

Some of my favourite things to see coming in were affordable GF bagels and GF brioche (with chocolate!). While I’m not 100% dairy free myself, it was also really cool to see the amount of vegan cheeses (I absolutely LOVED the smoked paprika cashew nut cheese) as well as all the lactose free options too!

Is there anything on that list you’re surprised to see? Is there anything you’re still dearly missing and perhaps would like to see a recipe for? Just comment below :)

 

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