Thursday, 7 February 2013

Food judging at the Free From Food Awards

Free From Food Awards
Very Important Work being done (aka stuffing your face all day)
You might think that being a food judge means sitting around tasting a bit of this and a smidge of that and then saying 'mmm yummy' or 'bleurgh, no thanks'.

How wrong you are.

If the food judging for the Free From Food Awards 2013 is anything to go by, being a food judge means vehemently arguing your corner and categorically stating why a certain product should be a winner/highly commended/commended/shortlisted.

It definitely ain't civilised and genteel!

Free From Food Awards 2013
Compiling arguments ready for the food judging battle

At least it wasn't last Wednesday when I donned my mantle of self importance, took up my clipboard and visited the HQ of Foods Matterwebsites to be a food judge.

It's the second time I've done it and it is so interesting.

Dairy free milks
Dairy Free Milk
The tasting is done 'blind' and you only have the manufacturers' descriptions of their products, ingredients list and allergen information. So from the table spread with anonymous - but tempting - goodies, you sample, write notes and keep absolutely schtum so that you don't influence any other judges.         
And then when Michelle Berriedale-Johnson calmly invites attendees to explain their reasons for short listing/commending etc, the gloves come off, all hell breaks loose and brown stuff is definitely heading for the fan.

Free from food judging
Is Sarah Jane Evans picking up those knives ready to throw them?!
In the red corner someone is arguing strongly on nutritional grounds!

In the blue corner someone else is advocating a product because it will add choice and interest to a restricted Free From market!

And from the eye of the storm Michelle listens, calls to order repeatedly and in the end gets stern and tells us to make a damned decision 'coz we're running out of time and we still have the chocolate tasting to do.

Oddly, the mention of chocolate tasting speeds the process up significantly.

So who were the winners of a coveted Free From Food Award yellow label?

Well, there was...

Ha ha. I'd have to kill you.

The shortlist will be announced on 20th February, 2013 and the presentation of the awards is on April 16th, 2013.  (Visit the Free From Food Awards site for more information.)

So all the decisions have now been made and it's far too late to bribe me or try and change my mind.

Although you're welcome to try if it involves chocolate...

Free from food
Might be worth trying to bribe me with chocolate?

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Nikki-ann said...


I'm on the lookout for a good Dairy-free milk chocolate bar. Everyone I've tasted so far, just doesn't live up to my expectation or taste. (I think I'm basically looking for Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate... but more Cadbury's Lactose-free Milk Chocolate... if you get what I mean!).

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ah Nikki-Ann, Cadburys is also my guilty pleasure. Hate to disappoint you but I didn't taste any chocolate that resembled Cadburys... :-(

Thanks for the comment!

Pig x