By SAM BUTLER
Two Northern Ireland artisan foods have been listed as gold winners in the influential Christmas products in the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards 2021.
An expert judging panel selected Christmas products from Willowbrook Foods in Killinchy, County Down, and Irish Black Butter of Portrush, County Antrim, in entries from the Lidl Deluxe range and Irish Black Butter in a product from Aldi-Ireland.
Lidl Deluxe Buttery Roast Potatoes from Willowbrook Foods in Killinchy won gold in the Christmas Meal Accompaniments category for potatoes buttered and ready to roast.
Irish Black Butter was used to glaze a gold winning Aldi Specially Selected Cook in the Bag, Irish Reduced Salt Half Horseshoe Ham from Connolly Meats in Monaghan.
The product is the result of “Aldi exclusively working with Connolly Meats and the award-winning Irish Black Butter, bringing a truly unique product to the Christmas 2021 Irish Ham Range”.
The Cook in the Bag product is described as “a simple cooking experience for our customers, whilst delivering a succulent and flavoursome product. With a 25 per cent salt reduction, the product offers this additional benefit without sacrificing on taste”.
IQFD awards said: “Our expert judging panel had the envious task of tasting a host of delicious Christmas fare, and have collated this impressive list of products to grace your tables this festive period.”
The Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards recognise and celebrate the best in retail, wholesale and foodservice food and drink products available in Ireland.
Major retailers play a key role in the competition, the most important in the Irish food and grocery business.
The Christmas awards focus on foods that will be available in supermarkets over the festive season.