Charcuterie strikes gold in national awards

Alastair Crown of Corndale Free Range Charcuterie in Limavady
Alastair Crown of Corndale Free Range Charcuterie in Limavady

Just days afterNorthern Ireland scored another starry success in the UK Great Taste Awards, three local companies have been awarded eight awards, including two golds, in The British Charcuterie Awards, the first ever national awards.

Launched to celebrate and encourage the growth of charcuterie and other cured meats in the UK the awards emphatically underscore the province’s postion as a significant specialist food producer.

The winners were announced during a BBC Countryfile event at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

The successful Northern Irish producers were Corndale Free Range Charcuterie, Limavady, Co Londonderry which won gold for its Wild Sika Venison Salami and bronze for its chorizo, followed by Hannan Meats, Moira, Co Armagh which won three silvers for its Sweet Cured Ham Hock, Black Belly Bacon and Lamb Bacon and bronze for Pastrami Brisket and Ispini Charcuterie, Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, which gained gold for its Mace and All Spice Coppa and bronze for its Paprika Coppa [cured meat].

“The awards will help raise our profile in Britain, our target market,” said. Alastair Crown, founder and MD of Corndale Free Range Charcuterie.

“We’ve been focusing resources there and will also benefit from our most recent success in the Great Taste Awards.”

Jonny Cuddy, who formed Ispini Charcuterie with sister Janice in 2016, adds: “The awards demonstrate that Northern Ireland now has a vibrant charcuterie sector that’s producing outstandingly tasty cured meats.”

Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats adds: “There’s a growing interest in cured meats because of the rich flavours resulting from the curing process.

The awards show that Northern Ireland companies are at the forefront of this developing movement and are producing innovative products with exceptional flavours.”

The event was organised by food experts Henrietta Green and Charlotte Sharpe-Neal to encourage farmers, butchers, meat processors and chefs to compete in the nine different classes.

The judging team comprised 20 leading food, retail and hospitality experts including Head Judge John Gower, who set up the New York’s Charcuterie Masters; British Bake Off co-judge Prue Leith; and chefs Angela Hartnett, James Lowe, Ben Tish, Adam Handling.