Posted: 02/09/2018

Great Taste goes nuts for Supreme Champion snack from Philippines

Supreme Champion
(L to R) John Farrand, Guild of Fine Food, James Costello and Cara Weil from Mount Mayon Brand, Alex Pickering from Kenwood, Dr. Steven John Costello from Mount Mayon Brand and Nigel Barden

Great Taste has crowned its first ever Supreme Champion from Asia, as Philippines-based Mount Mayon took the title for its pili nuts flavoured with Ecuadorian cacao.

Already a popular healthy snack across Asia, the nuts are sustainably harvested in the volcanic soil that surrounds Mount Mayon before being pre-sprouted and undergoing a 17-step drying process to retain nutrients – but it was the “moreish” flavours that wowed Great Taste judges.

The winning variety, which is dusted with Ecuadorian cacao, was hailed for its “ethereal texture”, “toasty cereal flavour” and “incredible creaminess”, all while delivering mouthfuls that are rich in Vitamin E, Omega and fibre.

Mount Mayon’s James Costello, Cara Weil, and Dr. Steven John Costello collected the award – as well as the Golden Fork for Best Imported Product at the Great Taste Golden Fork Dinner held on Sunday 2nd September at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel London, where over 350 guests from the world of fine food gathered to discover the results of many months of rigorous judging.

The pili nuts had to see off a strong field of Golden Fork winners competing for the top prize, including Argyle Smokery’s Kiln Roasted Salmon (Golden Fork from Scotland), Natural Umber Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Golden Fork from Northern Ireland) and Sicilian Bronte Pistachio Ice Cream from Manchester’s Rogue Artisan Ice Cream (Golden Fork from the North)

Read about all this year’s Great Taste Golden Fork winners.

After scooping 11 awards for its flours this year, Wessex Mill was named Great Taste Producer of the Year while Tea Shirt Tailored Refreshmentsclaimed the Great Taste Small Artisan Producer of the Year.

Southport Potted Shrimps by James Peet were awarded this year’s Great Taste Nigel Barden Heritage Award and food critic Charles Campion was presented with the inaugural Contribution to Fine Food award, acknowledging years of work promoting small producers.

A record-breaking 12,634 products products were entered into Great Taste 2018, with over 500 critics, chefs, restaurateurs, retailers and food writers involved across five months of judging at the Guild’s premises in Dorset and London, as well as specialist judging venues.

The panel who chose this year’s Golden Fork winners included MasterChef 2018 champion Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer Elly Curshen, Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and author and blogger Izy Hossack, as well as buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.

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