2010 CT Specialty Food Product Award Winners

The CT Specialty Food Association (CSFA) held its ninth Product Awards Competition on Thursday, February 18, 2010, at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville. Two hundred thirty-seven specialty food items from Connecticut-based manufacturers were entered into 20 categories, with hopes of receiving the prestigious honor of CSFA Product Award Winner 2010. A complete list of Thursday’s winners appears below.

A panel of 30 judges consisting of local media personalities, food writers, and chefs from the CT Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-Chef Program scored products on overall taste, originality, variety, and flavor. Each judge was assigned to specific categories, responsible for evaluating an average of approximately 30 different products.

Categories included beverages, confections, dairy, gift packs, gluten-free, pasta sauces, savory condiments, snack foods, and a dozen others. The wide array of products featured fine chocolates, ice cream sauces, pestos, pickles, hot teas and coffees, flavored seeds, breads, and much, much more.

“It is always amazing to see the diversity and quality of fine foods made by producers right here in Connecticut,” said Tricia Levesque, CSFA Director. “This competition showcases the best of the best in the state. Not only are these products perfect for everyday meals and parties, they also make wonderful gifts. Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive a package filled with such fabulous gourmet foods?”

“Purchasing products from Connecticut companies also fuels our local economy and helps create jobs here in our state, which is more important now than ever before,” Ms. Levesque continued. “It really is a win-win for everyone – consumers get the best quality foods available and Connecticut companies stay strong.”

Consumers looking for CT specialty food products can visit the Connecticut Food Association’s web site and ask for them at local markets and grocers. (Editor’s Note: I’ve added a partial list of retailers plus links to more for some of the winners.) The Connecticut Creative – A General Store in Hartford and Well Baskets in Newtown offer a selection of CT specialty foods an CT-themed gift baskets featuring numerous CT specialty food items and can ship baskets anywhere in the country.

CSFA is a subdivision of the CT Food Association and is a non-profit organization that represents small food businesses based in the state. The CT Department of Agriculture attends CSFA meetings and provides information to the organization as appropriate.

To learn more, visit www.ctfood.org or email ctfood@ctfood.org.

THE CT SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION

2010 PRODUCT AWARDS COMPETITION WINNERS


2010 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

Buttered Almond Cream

OUTSTANDING BARBECUE SAUCE

1st Place

Gourmet Conveniences, Ltd., Litchfield, CT

Sweet Sunshine Sauce – Sweet

2nd Place

RGN Sales, Inc., Coventry, CT

Rich’s Sweet Heat

3rd Place (The Pantry in Fairfield, Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan and Palmer’s Market in Darien & others carry this product)

The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Sweet Tomato Grilling Sauce

OUTSTANDING BEVERAGE

1st Place

Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, Branford, CT

Sumatra Mandheling French Roast Organic Coffee

2nd Place

Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, Branford, CT

Super Keemun Hao Ya “A” Tea

3rd Place

Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, Branford, CT

English Breakfast Tea

OUTSTANDING BREAD

1st Place

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT (Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan & others carry this brand )

Zucchini Nut Bread

2nd Place

Wave Hill Breads (New England Bread Company, LLC), Wilton, CT (Available at The Pantry in Fairfield , Balducci’s, Whole Foods & more plus area farmers’ markets)

Three Grain Pain du Campagne – Country Bread

3rd Place

Wave Hill Breads (New England Bread Company, LLC), Wilton, CT

Three Grain Petit EPI

OUTSTANDING CONFECTION, BAKED FOOD, COOKIE OR CRACKER

1st Place

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT (available at Walter Stewart’s Market, New Canaan & others)

Pear Cranberry with Walnut Crumb Pie

2nd Place

Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea, Branford, CT

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

3rd Place

Kathie’s Kitchen, LLC, Newtown, CT

Mucha Superseedz

OUTSTANDING DAIRY

1st Place

Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT (available at Walter Stewart’s Market, New Canaan; CT Farm Fresh Express, Village Market in Wilton and more)

Black Ledge Blue Cheese

2nd Place

Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT

Bridgid’s Abbey Cheese

3rd Place

Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT

Bloomsday Cheese

OUTSTANDING FROZEN FOOD

1st Place

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT (available at Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan & others)

Australian Beef Pie

2nd Place

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Quiche Lorraine

3rd Place

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Chicken Pot Pie

OUTSTANDING GLUTEN FREE

1st Place

Gilbert’s Gourmet Goodies, Sandy Hook, CT (click here for a full list of retailers). Click here for a previous post about the company.

Apple Crumb Pie

2nd Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Medium Beet Horseradish

3rd Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Hot Beet Horseradish

OUTSTANDING GIFT PACK

1st Place

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

Two & Four Box Dessert Topping Gift Pack

2nd Place

Sweet Maven’s, LLC, East Hartford, CT

Biscotti Jar (Valentine’s Day)

3rd Place (Available at Walter Stewart’s in New Canaan, Caraluzzi’s , A&J Farmstand in Westport and more)

Ola! Foods, LLC, Redding, CT

Ola! Granola Gift Jars

OUTSTANDING HERB, SEASONING OR SPICE BLEND

1st Place

Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Pad Thai

2nd Place (Available at Walter Stewart’s in New Canaan, Palmer’s, Whole Foods Markets & more)

El’s Kitchen, Inc., Weston, CT

Moroccan Lamb Spice Rub

3rd Place

Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Red Thai Curry

OUTSTANDING HORS D’OEUVRE

1st Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Hot Beet Horseradish

2nd Place

Artisan C.S.F., Colchester, CT

Lobster Lover’s Dip

3rd Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Medium Beet Horseradish

OUTSTANDING JAM, HONEY OR SWEET TOPPING

1st Place

The Purple Pear By Tina, Willington, CT

Buttered Almond Cream

2nd Place

Twin Pines Farm, Thomaston, CT

Raspberry Rhubarb Jam

3rd Place

Twin Pines Farm, Thomaston, CT

Raspberry Peach Jam

OUTSTANDING OIL, VINEGAR OR SALAD DRESSING

1st Place

Capa di Roma, East Hartford, CT

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

2nd Place

Stark Naked, Inc., Monroe, CT

Japanese Ginger Dressing

3rd Place

Ariston Specialties, LLC, New Britain, CT

Ariston Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

OUTSTANDING PACKAGING OR DESIGN

1st Place

May Cookie Company, Newington, CT

Hearty & Wholesome Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie Mix

Rich & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Triple Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix

2nd Place

Bridgewater Chocolate, Brookfield, CT

Cherry Hearts

3rd Place

Cookie Wishes, LLC/Les Oliviers, LLC, Newtown, CT

Winton Farms Wildflower Honey

OUTSTANDING PASTA SAUCE

1st Place

Frank’s Marinara, Amston, CT

NY Style Sicilian Gravy

2nd Place

Frank’s Marinara, Amston, CT

Original Marinara Sauce

3rd Place

Chef Silvio’s of Wooster Street/New Med Foods, LLC, Guilford, CT

FraDiavolo Sauce

OUTSTANDING PASTA, RICE OR SOUP

1st Place

Boxed Goodes, LLC, Litchfield, CT

Sunny Dahl

2nd Place

Artisan C.S.F., Colchester, CT

Jambalaya Soup

3rd Place

Artisan C.S.F., Colchester, CT

Tortilla Soup

OUTSTANDING PICKLE, RELISH OR TAPENADE

1st Place (The Pantry in Fairfield, Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan and Palmer’s Market in Darien & others carry this product)

The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Artichoke Parmesan Tapenade

2nd Place

The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Dilled Carrot Tomato Tapenade

3rd Place

The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Roasted Vegetable Tapenade

OUTSTANDING PRODUCT LINE

1st Place

Boxed Goodes, LLC, Litchfield, CT

Herbs, Rice, Snacks & Soup

— TIE —

Twin Pines Farm, Thomaston, CT

Jams, Pickles, Relish & Vinegar

2nd Place

The Olive Oil Factory, LLC, Watertown, CT

Flavored Oils

3rd Place

Gourmet Conveniences, Ltd., Litchfield, CT

Sweet Sunshine Sauce

OUTSTANDING SALSA OR HOT SAUCE

1st Place

Mama Manju’s Salsa, Chester, CT

Fandango Mango Salsa

2nd Place

Fresh Trak Foods, LLC, East Granby, CT

Salsa Loca – Just Right

— TIE —

Giff’s Original, LLC, Cheshire, CT

Mango Spice Salsa

3rd Place

Gourmet Conveniences, Ltd., Litchfield, CT

Sweet Sunshine Sauce – Atomic

OUTSTANDING SAVORY CONDIMENT

1st Place (The Pantry in Fairfield, Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan and Palmer’s Market in Darien & others carry this product)

The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Gingered Peach Apricot Spread

2nd Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Medium Beet Horseradish

3rd Place

Can’t Beet It, LLC, South Windsor, CT

Can’t Beet It – Hot Beet Horseradish

OUTSTANDING SNACK FOOD

1st Place

Aurora Products, Inc., Stratford, CT

Wizard’s Mix

2nd Place (Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan & others carry this brand)

Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

3rd Place

Aurora Products, Inc., Stratford, CT

Spicy Pub Mix

CONNECTICUT GROWN – The Local Flavor

Visit us at www.CTGrown.gov

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