Blas na hÉireann – The Irish Food Awards 2023

Entries for Blas nah hÉireann, the largest blind-tasting food competition opened this St Patrick’s day.

The much-awaited competition for all food lovers and producers is now back in 2023 to celebrate the best of Irish food and drinks to a wide audience, both in Ireland and beyond.

Last year in 2022, following a two-year hiatus from in-person events, the entries for the competition reached almost 3,000 products, with a total of eight winners from Galway.

They were Abbert Bailiu Teoranta, Builin Blasta Teo, Galmere Fresh Foods, Ivy House Chocolates, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens Ltd, Loughnane’s Of Galway, The Foods of Athenry, Wildfolk and Grá Chocolates, who were also awarded Best in County.

Products from every county in Ireland were entered to win in over 150 food and drink categories in bronze, silver, or gold awards.

“Without any doubt, having the award logo has helped bringing customers in,” said John Casey, chief executive of Galmere Fresh Foods, Galway who won an award for Best Indonesian Chickpea Soup in 2022.

“The judging panel is rigours, but Blas is fantastic. We are entering this year as well,” he added.

It has become one of the most prestigious food competitions in Ireland, where winning an award is highly regarded within the food industry and having the award logo can significantly boost a producer’s reputation.

“Being back together in person again last year reminded us all how important these awards are on so many levels,” says Blas na hÉireann Chairman, Artie Clifford, “creating a sense of community and support, as well as a feeling of pride and ownership in that community.

“I am looking forward as ever to seeing what this year has to bring, as well as discovering new products we haven’t seen before,” he added.

Developed by UCC and University of Copenhagen, the judging system is recognised as industry ‘gold’ standard worldwide. Winners are announced in September, in Blas Village in Dingle after being judged in the summer months.

The judging panel includes professionals from a range of different food backgrounds, such as chefs, restaurateurs, academics, journalists, authors, food champions, caterers, and enthusiastic home cooks.

The registration to enter the competition will close on 17 May.

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