The shortlist has been published today for the annual Free From Food Awards which are are now in their 5th year. A very impressive 300 free from products were entered into 17 different categories which ranged from breakfast cereals, breads, cakes to gluten free beer and even a new category of raw and superfood.
I was really thrilled to be invited to join the judging panel. My fellow judges included journalists, nutritionists, food manufacturers, supermarket recipe development consultants, foodies as well as other Coeliacs and gluten free bloggers. The judging panel included people who do not need to eat gluten free foods and I thought this approach was good because it also meant the products were judged against their regular, gluten containing counterparts. As a consumer of gluten free food, it was fascinating for me to hear the views of the products being tasted by people who do not ordinarily need to eat them.
What surprised me about the judging was how animated the debates became as judges argued passionately (both for and against) about the merits of some of the products being tasted. Michelle did a tremendous job in chairing the discussions and encouraging the judging panel to reach a decision. I was also amazed at the level of organisation which is required just to hold the judging sessions. Cressida managed wonderfully with preparing the products to be tasted and within the allotted judging session time.
The shortlist has many companies and products that I’m familiar with as well as others which are new to me and that I look forward to trying soon. I encourage you to click on this link to view the full shortlist and see the wonderfully diverse range of products entered into the awards this year. Some highlights for me from the shortlist are:
Bob’s Red Mill – Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour which I use to bake with. It’s more expensive than Dove’s gluten free plain flour but I really like the texture and taste of the bean flours in this mix. I made a fantastic gluten free banana bread with dark chocolate chunks using this flour.
Crazy Bakers – Half Pipes Swedish Crispbreads: I brought a packet of these back with me from Sweden. They’re huge!
Darling Spuds – Fire Roasted Jalapeno Crisps / Sour Cream with a hint of Mexican Chilli / Tomato, Olive & Oregano: I recently tried and really enjoyed these crisps which are labelled ‘suitable for Coeliacs’ with interesting flavours. Since the change in EU gluten free labelling law change last month, great tasting flavoured crisps suitable for Coeliacs are hard to find.
Foodamentalists – Frangipane Mince Pies which were a big hit in the D household before Christmas. Fantastic to see Foodamentalists have a number of other products short listed this year.
Fria – Shortlisted in the bread category for their tasty Grova dark sliced loaf and Grova mini baguettes which are perfect for lunch boxes. Fria have also been short listed in the cake category for their Kladdkaka Chocolate Brownie Cake. I’m hungry for this rich chocolate Swedish brownie cake even typing the word ‘kladdkaka’.
A huge congratulations and well done to all the short listed companies!
The Free From Food Awards ceremony will be held on 17th April where the winners will be announced.