A DELICACY prepared by a local food producer has been named as one of the UK’s top 50 foods.
The smoked silver eel fillet, produced by the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse in Glasson Dock, secured a coveted spot on the list, which was compiled under the Guild of Fine Food’s prestigious annual Great Taste accreditation scheme.
Under the scheme, 8,807 food and drink products were blind-tasted over 45 days by 350 experts. Of those, 123 entries were awarded a coveted three-star gold award and they were then whittled down to a top 50.
As well as making that final cut with its smoked silver eel fillet, the smokehouse, based at West Quay, also achieved three stars for its smoked Lancashire kippers for the third year running.
Judges included MasterChef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and MasterChef judge Charles Campion, food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay and more than 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops, including Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.
The top 50 foods have also now been nominated for Golden Fork awards, the highest accolade in fine food and drink.
There are 14 Golden Fork awards, plus titles of supreme champion, best newcomer, best importer, best ambient and best regional product.
The winner will be announced at the awards’ dinner at London’s Royal Garden Hotel next month.
Michael Price, director of the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the nomination for this prestigious award and excited to be one of the 50 fine food producers going forward for the Golden Fork Award with our smoked silver eel fillet.
“It is only the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our staff that helps us produce our outstanding products.
“We wish all finalists joining us at The Golden Fork Award the best of luck, and may the best person win!”
Guild of Fine Food chairman, Bob Farrand, said that each of the food and drink products entered into Great Taste received rigorous scrutiny.
“To achieve a three-star grading involves at least 25 experts unanimously agreeing that the product tastes divine,” he said.
“But to be included in the top 50 Foods in Britain meant each one had to satisfy the discerning palates of a further 25 dedicated foodies.
“These products all deliver the most extraordinary taste.”
The Port of Lancaster Smokehouse has been established for more than 30 years, maintaining traditional methods of preparing and curing fish and meats of all kinds.
It uses centuries old smoking traditions and methods to give a distinctive flavour to fish, meat, cheeses and other food products.