Clydesdale businesses tasted success no fewer than five times at the UK’s biggest annual food awards.
They emerged near the top of almost 12,500 entries in the annual competition for a Great Taste award.
And two of our five local awards went to products from probably the smallest of all the Clydesdale entrants, the Orchard delicatessen in Biggar High Street.
It not only took a two-star award for its home-made raspberry-and-lime jam but also picked up a one-star award for its rhubarb-and-ginger jam.
That carries on what has become something of a prizewinning tradition for the small independent business’s jams.
The Errington Cheese Company at Walston Braehead shrugged off recent controversy by wowing the judges with its Sir Lancelot sheep’s milk cheese, picking up a two-star award.
The cheese is understood to be named in honour of cheesemaker Humphrey Errington’s dad, the late Lancelot Errington.
The Sir Lancelot cheese is a recent addition to the growing variety of Errington products, headed by its original and now-internationally-known Lanark Blue, often hailed as Scotland’s Roquefort.
The Errington company, based on a sheep farm, was founded in the early 1980s and its products are all truly local, given that it produces its own sheep’s milk and imports its cow and goat milk from nearbly farms.
It has had run-ins with local authorities over its natural cheese-making methods over the years, but it has also won a large and loyal following among gourmets and top restauranteurs, plus earlier industry awards.
A well-known Coulter food producer, Simple Simon’s Perfect Pies, took a one-star award for a pie containing hot roast root vegetables with mango and chilli, again a recent addition to a growing variety of products.
Its products are now marketed throughout the UK.
The largest Clydesdale firm taking part, Lanark’s Border Biscuits, was given a one-star accolade for its dark chocolate ginger-and-orange cookie.
Again, this is a local company that has attracted awards in the past for its products, especially for its chocolate ginger biscuits.
The award organisers say that it defines two-star-winning products as being excellent and one-star ones as “simply delicious”.
All the successful producers from Clydesdale will now have the right to carry the coveted Great Taste black-and-gold logo on their prize-winning products.
All of them are now also eligible for the Great Taste regional awards, with 250 Scottish products up for another stage of judging and the results to be announced next month.
The awards’ organisers say that the Great Taste logo is “recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike”.
They also commented that Scottish producers had enjoyed a particularly good run of success this year.
The awards were set up to encourage independent food producers in the United Kingdom, many of them in direct competition to the products of national and multi-national food corporations.