The exceptional quality of food and drink produced in the Isle of Man has once again been recognised by experts at the annual Great Taste Awards.
A total of 11 products, from four Manx producers, were awarded the globally recognised star rating, with some receiving the highest recognition.
The successful producers were Angelica Belle IOM, Outlier Distilling Company, Isle of Man Meats, and Leela’s Kitchen, between them showcasing a range of products from rum to beef ribs.
The Guild of Fine Food, which organises the event, describe one star as ‘fantastic flavour’, two as ‘above and beyond delicious’, and three as an ‘extraordinarily tasty’ product.
Angelica Belle IOM received two stars for its almond and lemon and almond and orange amaretti cookies and one star for its almond and lemon plant based Amaretti cookies.
Outlier Distillery was recognised with one star for Hurricane Overproof Manx Rum, and Leela’s Kitchen received the same for their ‘Chai-licious’ Masala chai tea.
Angelica Belle IOM chef, Andrea Ashton-Worsfold, said: ‘We’re over the moon that all our amaretti almond cookies received Great Taste Awards. The awards are a stamp of excellence among consumers, retailers and major buyers. We’re especially delighted with our cookies that won two stars, when less than 10% of entries achieve this.’
Kumar Menon, owner of Leela’s Kitchen, said: ‘This recognition is a tribute to the meticulous blend of spices and the premium single estate Assam tea leaves that define the heart of this exquisite beverage.
‘Crafted with precision, Chai-licious captures the essence of Indian chai, infusing cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and Malabar Bold Black peppercorns to create a symphony of flavors that entices the senses with each sip.
‘As the founder, this achievement fills me with pride and joy, underlining our dedication to delivering an exceptional chai experience. This success story, however, is a shared one, made possible by a devoted team back in India, which includes my parents. Their passion and hard work have been pivotal in bringing Chai-licious to the global stage.
‘With gratitude and excitement, I look forward to sharing the magic of Chai-licious with chai enthusiasts worldwide.’
In addition to the Great Taste Award, Leela’s Kitchen has been awarded the Great Taste Producer logo, as a result of having consistently received Great Taste Awards since 2016.
Isle of Man Meats received stars for six products, including the highest accolade – three stars - for its rack of lamb and wing rib of beef.
It also received two stars for their antibiotic-free shoulder of pork, and one star each for their thick cut ribeye steak, antibiotic-free loin of pork and Manx Loaghtan shoulder.
Rebecca Miah, managing director of Isle of Man Meats, said: ‘These awards recognise the quality and story behind Manx meat. From the farmers to the butchers, we produce some of the best meat in the world, in a highly sustainable way.’
Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment Food and Agriculture, said: ‘It is brilliant to see so many local producers do so well. The standard of local food and drink products is outstanding, and we’re proud to support and grow this sector.
‘The awards provide a quality benchmark for the industry and raise the profile of winning products to new audiences.’
The organisers use more than 500 chefs, food writers and retailers to judge thousands of products from all over the world.
‘Each one blind-tasted and rated on texture, appearance, ingredients and most importantly, does it taste truly great?