Blas na hÉireann, the Irish food awards, has reached the penultimate stage of this year’s competition, with the announcement of the finalists this week. Three hundred and fifty producers around the country will go through to the final round of judging, which will take place in Dingle in October.
The Blas na hÉireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country. The criteria on which the products are judged, as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas along with the UCC Food Science Department and the University of Copenhagen, is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide.
During the first round of judging, which took place over the course of four weeks in June and July, more than 2,500 entries were judged in UCC and TU Dublin, bringing the total number of finalists in each category down to just five.
Each of these producer finalists will have their products tasted, compared, savoured, and judged at the Blas na Éireann 2019 final in Dingle on Thursday October 3. This is the 12th year of the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island, and the Blas na Éireann 2019 final will produce worthy winners of awards that have become an important part of the commercial success of so many exceptional Irish products.
The finalists shortlisted from Galway across a range of different categories are Arrabawn Dairies, Galmere Fresh Foods, Gran Grans Foods Ltd, Leahy Beekeeping, Mitzi's Mezze, Sean Loughnane's Galway Ltd, The Foods of Athenry, The Lodge Barna Mustards, and Tribal Foods.
Kieran Coyne, senior executive officer with Galway County Council, said: "Galway County Council are proud to support our local producers who work tirelessly to bring the best local produce to our tables throughout the year. Our finalists in Galway are highly innovative and play critical roles in the long-term energy and sustainability of our local rural communities."
Some 2,500 products were entered into this year’s competition to win gold, silver, or bronze Blas na hÉireann awards in more than 140 food and drink categories, as well as key awards such as Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer, so there will be good food and drink guaranteed in Dingle this October.