What is your favourite freefrom product?
Yesterday I got a chance to have my say as a judge for the annual FreeFrom Food Awards.
It was a great day with over 80 different things to try – and that was just two of the product categories!
Each product was presented ‘blind’ with no branding, just a list of ingredients and any important details. Some were in their raw form and others, like flours, were made up into recipes. We then had to mark each one out of 10 taking into account taste, appearance and texture; usefulness; innovation; and nutrition.
You have to be careful not to make any comments or pull any faces that could influence the other judges which can be hard when you feel strongly about a tasting!
Once the scores were tallied we debated the winners and commendeds before seeing the packaging and product information.
The judges were made up of fellow food writers, nutritionists, industry experts and allergy/coeliac sufferers. It was an inspiring group with strong opinions and a passion for sourcing the best freefrom food.
There were quite a few entries I couldn’t taste – mainly a lot of sauces containing garlic and cakes made up with egg. Even in the freefrom market, dealing with multiple allergies it can be a minefield.
But the allergy awareness is out there and new products are being developed all the time. These awards show off the depth and breadth of that, from big household brands to small niche manufacturers. I feel very grateful that my children are growing up in a time when the free from industry is booming and there are so many more things available.
It was exciting, interesting, tasty and tiring.
We came up with some worthy winners but shhhh….the shortlist will be announced next month and the winners will be crowned in April.