Out of 12,366 products entered into Great Taste 2017, the top honour of Great Taste Supreme Champion has been awarded to a Smoked Black Pudding, a brand new product from Hugh Maguire of Meath in Ireland. Celebrating the very best in food and drink, Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food awards, reached its grand finale at the Great Taste Golden Fork Award Dinner held on Monday 4 September at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to hear the results of many months of rigorous judging.
Made from fresh pig’s blood and containing no artificial preservatives, this traditional black pudding is smoked over beechwood chippings for 45-minutes and boasts a “gentle pepper warmth, saliva-inducing aroma and careful use of smoke, which whooshes across the tongue and works in perfect harmony”. First generation butcher, Hugh Maguire, who started the business in 1991, took inspiration from his travels around Europe and installed a smokehouse at the craft butcher shop upon his return. Great Taste judges were in awe of this “tender” smoked black pudding and asked, “why has no one ever smoked black pudding before? Genius.”
With over 100 smoked products picking up Great Taste awards this year, the UK and Ireland has clearly found an appetite for playing with fire. Among this year’s other top trophy winners, Macneil’s Smokehouse from Droitwich scooped the Great Taste Golden Fork for the best food or drink in the Midlands for its “moist, juicy and sweet” Smoked Mackerel, while Inverawe Smokehouses from Taynuilt picked up the Great Taste Golden Fork for the best food or drink from Scotland for its “stand out” Smoked Trout, during an evening when smoked products really did rise to the occasion.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, explains: “This Smoked Black Pudding really does encapsulate what Great Taste is all about; a simple, rather humble product made using good honest ingredients, with a dash of innovation and well measured twist thrown in to excite the palate. We have seen many smoked products achieve outstanding Great Taste results this year, aside from those going home with Golden Forks, which reflects a wider movement among producers who are embracing this nostalgic way of preserving and cooking to create truly exceptional food.”