I promised you all that you would soon know the conclusion to my Devon A-Z challenge. But before we get to that, I wanted to spend a few moments looking back at another aspect of Devon’s food and drink scene.
You may remember that our local deli is an award-winner, picking up the Food and Drink Devon award for Best Retailer in 2013. They have now added the 2014 award to their shelf as well, having won the award for a second year. We should also mention that our local baker, Ella’s, was the 2013 Best Baker of the Year in the Devon Life Food and Drink Awards. And these are not the only awards to feature Devon retailers and producers in their lists; the Great Taste Awards put out a top 50 list each year and Devon always features somewhere on these lists.
Throughout the Devon A-Z year I have tried to sample some of these award winners (quite a lot of them from the 2013 lists, rather than the a-bit-too-recent-to-get-through-them 2014 lists). Here are a few of my favourites.
Chunks of Devon Steak and Bacon Pie with Red Wine – Food and Drink Devon 2013 Gold Award. This features beef chunks (naturally) in a rich sauce. There are some bacon pieces in there as well and the rich flavour really comes through, with a taste a bit like a boeuf bourguignon. All Chunks pies and pasties have a delicious pastry and this is no different. I’m sure that they would be good hot or cold, but mine didn’t make it back home to get anywhere near an oven; I ate it shortly after exiting the shop. It is a deserved winner.
Bell & Loxton Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil – Great Taste 2013 Top 50 and Food and Drink Devon 2014 Best Packaging Award. The packaging is definitely eye-catching: a solid silver aluminium bottle with black and gold labelling. But it is not just for show, the metal bottle prevents light getting to the oil, which keeps the oil in better condition. Taste-wise, this has the nutty taste of a rapeseed oil and goes well in a dressing or as a dip with bread.
Ashridge Cider Devon Blush – Great Taste 2013 Top 50. This hardly needs an introduction, having been a favourite of ours for a while and having featured in several previous posts. If you want a decent sweet cider, this could not come more highly recommended by Mrs RB or me.
Georgie Porgie Lemon and Pimm’s Pudding – Food and Drink Devon 2013 Gold Award. This is another delicious pudding from the people at Georgie Porgie. The lemon hit takes away any risk that this could be too sweet or cloying and makes a very tasty dessert. We poured a whole heap of custard onto this and the flavours still come through very nicely.
Waterhouse Fayre seville marmalade – Food and Drink Devon 2013 Gold Award, and Cranfields blood orange marmalade – Great Taste 2013 Top 50. Two different marmalades and, whilst the Waterhouse Fayre marmalade was nicely fruity, of the two, the Cranfields blood orange marmalade was my favourite; it had a nice bitter-sweet flavour that was a little bit different from an ordinary marmalade. Cranfields have recently re-branded their labels, so look out for the new labels under their new ‘The Proper Marmalade Company’ branding.
If you would like to work your own way through the latest set of Devon award-winners (and why wouldn’t you?), then you can find a list of them below.
Great Taste 2014 Top 50 (not all of the entries on the full list are Devon-based, so follow the link to check for any that are close to you)
- Pipers Farm – Saddleback Pork Belly
Devon Life Awards 2014 (selected list, please follow the link for the full list)
- Two Birds Kitchen (Best Newcomer)
- Darts Farm (Best Independent Food Shop)
- The Swan, Bampton (Best Gastro Pub)
- Crediton Farmers’ Market (Best Farmers’ Market)
- Owen’s Coffee (Best Drinks Product)
- Red Dog Bakery (Best Bakery)
- Pipers Farm (Best Butcher)
- Hele Corn Mill & Tea Rooms, Hele (Best Tearoom)
- Hockings Ice Cream (Best Food Product)
Taste of the West Awards 2014 (selected list, please follow the link for the full list)
- Gribble’s Butchers, Plympton, (Best South West Butcher)
- Devon Hampers (Best South West Online Retailer)
- Pork Heaven from Devon – Butcher’s Classic Pork Sausages (Champion Product 2014)
- Shute Fruit – Sweet Raspberry Vinegar
- Figgy’s Pudding – Handmade Christmas Pudding
- Orange Elephant – Pink Grapefruit Sorbet
- Tom’s Pies – Chicken, Ham Hock and Leek Pie
- Hillside Foods – Pear, Apple and Herb Chutney
- Ashridge Cider – Sparkling Vintage Cider
- Ashridge Cider – Devon Blush
- Hobbs House of Horsebridge – Blackcurrant Conserve
- Four Elms Fruit Farm – Real Devonshire Apple Juice
- Boom Kitchen – Boom Indian Curry Kits
- Little and Cull – Pressed Cured Pork Belly
- Mike’s Smokehouse – Manuka Salmon Pate
- M. C. Kelly – Devon Venison Loin
- Touch of Hart – Venison Bresaola
- Hayman’s Butchers – Haslet
- Burrow Farm Food – Sirloin Steak
- Burts Potato Chips – Sea Salt and Crushed Black Pepper Crisps
- Chunk of Devon – Chicken and Mushroom Pie
- Dartmoor Brewery – Jail Ale Legend
- Exmoor Heat and Eat – Macaroni Cheese
- Lovaton Farm – Rib Eye Steak
- Luscombe Drinks – Apple and Ginger Juice
- Luscombe Drinks – Sicilian Lemonade
- M.C. Kelly – Rump Steak
- Partridge Farm Meats – Grass Fed Aberdeen Angus Rump Steak
- Partridge Farm Meats – Grass Fed Aberdeen Angus Minced Beef
- Partridge Farm Meats – Grass Fed Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak
- Partridge Farm Meats – Grass Fed Leg of Lamb
- Riverford Farm Dairies – Organic Clotted Cream
- Riverford Farm Dairies – Organic Butter
- South Devon Chilli Farm – Honeycombe Chilli Chocolate
- Stevie B’s Bakery – Almond Slice
- Touch of Hart – Venison Coriander and Garlic Salami
- Touch of Hart – Venison Chorizo
- Touch of Hart – Venison Bresaola
- Touch of Hart – Venison Jerky
- Bulleigh Elms Farm – Fudge
- Yonder Berries – Blueberry and Chilli Jam