2012 CT Specialty Food Product Awards Competition Winners Announced

The best thing I tasted and evaluated was an arugula pesto from Dondero Orchards, so I'm not surprised it won first place in the savory toppings category. Packed with arugula and cheese flavor, and good olive oil, this pesto is not bitter at all. It's totally worth $5.

The CT Specialty Food Association (CSFA) held it’s eleventh Product Awards Competition on Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville.  Two hundred three specialty food items from Connecticut-based manufacturers were entered into 36 categories, with hopes of receiving the prestigious honor of CSFA Product Award Winner 2012.   A complete list of Thursday’s winners appears below.

A panel of 21 judges consisting of local media personalities, food writers, chefs from the CT Department of Agriculture’s Farm-to-Chef Program, and wine specialists scored products on overall taste/flavor, consistency/texture, appeal, and color.  Each judge was assigned to specific categories, responsible for evaluating an average of approximately 35 different products. Analiese Paik of the Fairfield Green Food Guide judged several categories of food and Renee B. Allen of the Wine Institute of New England judged Connecticut wines.

Renee Allen's top pick in the dessert wine category was Sunset Meadow Vineyard's Midnight Ice, an ice wine made with Vidal Blanc grapes. Congratulations to SMV for winning first place in the dessert wine category! Scroll down to read SMV's other awards.

Categories included breads, cheese, confections, CT Grown, gluten-free, organic, pasta sauces, salad dressings, savory condiments, snack foods, and many others.   We also proudly included a variety of wines produced here in Connecticut.  All wines were required to contain 100% CT grown fruit.  The wide array of food products featured fresh breads, cheeses, many varieties of sauce, jams, relishes, flavored seeds, oils and vinegars, syrups and much, much more.

“It is always amazing to see the diversity and high quality of the foods and beverages made by producers right here in Connecticut,” said Tricia Levesque, CSFA Director.  “This competition showcases the best of the best in the state.  Each year we seem to find additional entrepreneurs looking to showcase the outstanding products they produce.  Not only are these products perfect for everyday meals and parties, they also make wonderful gifts.  There is always something for every member of the family.”

“Purchasing products from Connecticut companies helps to fuel our local economy and create jobs here in our state, which is so important in today’s economy,” 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 www.ctspecialtyfood.org and ask for them at local markets and grocers.

CSFA is a subdivision of the CT Food Association and is a non-profit organization that represents small food businesses based in the state.  To learn more, visit www.ctfoodassociation.org or email ctfood@ctfoodassociation.org.

THE CT SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION’S

2012 PRODUCT AWARDS COMPETITION WINNERS:

2012 Product of the Year

Chaplin Farms, LLC, Chaplin, CT

Apple Pie Jam

Bread – Yeast

1st Place                              Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Cinnamon Bread with Streusel Topping

2nd Place                             Fairfield Bread Company, Fairfield, CT

The Flaxette

Certified Organic

1st Place                              Gourganics Salsa, LLC, Fairfield, CT

Gourganics Mild Salsa

2nd Place                             Wild Carrot Farm, LLC, Canton, CT

Wild Carrot Farm Salsa

Cheese – Aged

1st Place                              Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT

Bridgid’s Abbey

2nd Place                             Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT

Aged Bloomsday

3rd Place                              Cato Corner Farm, LLC, Colchester, CT

Dairyere

Chocolate

1st Place                              Bridgewater Chocolate, LLC, Brookfield, CT

Caramel Truffle with Sea Salt

2nd Place                             Bridgewater Chocolate, LLC, Brookfield, CT

Coconut Igloos

3rd Place                              Bridgewater Chocolate, LLC, Brookfield, CT

Sea Salt Caramels

Cooking Sauce

1st Place                              Giff’s Original, LLC, Cheshire, CT

Hot & Spicy Cooking Sauce

2nd Place                             Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Honey Soy & Garlic Simmer Sauce – Passage to China

3rd Place                              Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Spiced Honey Tagine Simmer Sauce – Passage to Morocco

CT Grown

1st Place                              Killam & Bassette Farmstead, LLC, South Glastonbury, CT

Strawberry Jam

2nd Place                             Winding Drive Corp., Woodbury, CT

Peach Jam

3rd Place                              Killam & Bassette Farmstead, LLC, South Glastonbury, CT

Blueberry Jam

Dessert – Cookie

1st Place                              Rachel’s Cookies & Treats, Southington, CT

Gingersnap

2nd Place                             Rachel’s Cookies & Treats, Southington, CT

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

3rd Place                              Rachel’s Cookies & Treats, Southington, CT

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookie

Dessert – Pie

1st Place                              Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Chocolate Raspberry Pie

2nd Place                             Dondero Orchards, LLC, South Glastonbury, CT

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

3rd Place                              Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Mixed Berry Crumb Pie

Frozen Food

1st Place                              Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Shepard’s Pie

2nd Place                             Michele’s Pies, Norwalk, CT

Chicken Pot Pie

Gluten Free

1st Place                              Lesser Evil, LLC, Wilton, CT

Classic Kettlekorn

2nd Place                             El’s Kitchen, Weston, CT

Medleys Cheddar Snack Mix

3rd Place                              El’s Kitchen, Weston, CT

Medleys Original Snack Mix

Herb, Spice or Seasoning

1st Place                              Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Honey Soy & Garlic – Passage to China

2nd Place                             Passage Foods, Collinsville, CT

Spiced Honey Tagine – Passage to Morocco

Honey

1st Place                              Tiezzi Imports, LLC, Chester, CT

Tutti Amici Acacia Honey

2nd Place                             Tiezzi Imports, LLC, Chester, CT

Tutti Amici Castagno Honey

3rd Place                              Tiezzi Imports, LLC, Chester, CT

Tutti Amici Millefiore Honey

Syrup

1st Place                              Turkeywoods Farm, Mystic, CT

Shagbark Syrup

2nd Place                             Turkeywoods Farm, Mystic, CT

Hickory Nut Syrup

3rd Place                              Turkeywoods Farm, Mystic, CT

Hickory Ginger Syrup

Hors d’Oeuvre

1st Place                              J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fresh Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Mild

2nd Place                             J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fresh Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Original

3rd Place                              J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fresh Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Hot

Jam

1st Place                              Chaplin Farms, LLC, Chaplin, CT

Apple Pie Jam

2nd Place                             TIE

Winding Drive Corp., Woodbury, CT

Raspberry Jam

Winding Drive Corp., Woodbury, CT

Raspberry Chocolate Jam

3rd Place                              Norm’s Best, Putnam, CT

Habanero Jam

Non-Alcoholic Beverage

1st Place                              Raus Coffee Company, Stamford, CT

Cold Roman Coffee Beverage

Oil

1st Place                              The Olive Oil Factory, Waterbury, CT

Sicilian Bread Dipping Oil

2nd Place                             Tiezzi Imports, LLC, Chester, CT

Tutti Amici Cold Pressed EVOO

3rd Place                              The Olive Oil Factory, Waterbury, CT

Tuscan Herb Dipping Oil

Package Mix – Baked

1st Place                              Civitello Biscotti, Hamden, CT

Original Orange Almond Anise Mix

2nd Place                             Civitello Biscotti, Hamden, CT

Cinnamon Pecan Mix

3rd Place                              Civitello Biscotti, Hamden, CT

Fig Walnut Mix

Packaging

1st Place                              Turkeywoods Farm, Mystic, CT

Shagbark Syrup – Fancy Bottle

2nd Place                             Ola! Foods, Norwalk, CT

Ola! Granola No Nut Vanilla

3rd Place                              Ola! Foods, Norwalk, CT

Ola! Granola Cranberry Orange Pecan

Pasta Sauce

1st Place                              Chef Silvio’s of Wooster Street, Guilford, CT

Chef Silvio’s Capricciosa Sauce

2nd Place                             Frank’s Marinara, Amston, CT

Frank’s Vodka Sauce

3rd Place                              TIE

Capa di Roma, East Hartford, CT

Capa di Roma Marinara Sauce

Capa di Roma, East Hartford, CT

Capa di Roma Fresh Basil Sauce

Salad Dressing

1st Place                              Kerry Wood Healthy Foods, Westport, CT

Taste of Tuscany

2nd Place                             Les Oliviers, LLC, Newtown, CT

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

3rd Place                              Kerry Wood Healthy Foods, Westport, CT

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salsa

1st Place                              Mama Manju’s Salsa, Chester, CT

Mama Manju’s Black Bean & Corn Salsa

2nd Place                             Mama Manju’s Salsa, Chester, CT

Mama Manju’s Hot & Zesty Salsa

3rd Place                              Warren’s Foods, West Hartford, CT

Louie’s Original Salsa – Hot

Savory Condiment

1st Place                              White Silo Winery, Sherman, CT

Rhubarb Mustard

2nd Place                             Les Oliviers, LLC, Newtown, CT

Harissa Ketsup

3rd Place                              White Silo Winery, Sherman, CT

Quince Mustard

Savory Condiment – Relish

1st Place                              TIE

Dondero Orchards, South Glastonbury, CT

Green Tomato Relish

Southern Relishes, LLC, West Haven, CT

Mariah’s Chow Chow Relish – Sweet & Spicy

2nd Place                             Giff’s Original, LLC, Cheshire, CT

Pomegranate Onion Relish

3rd Place                              Warren’s Foods, West Hartford, CT

Warren’s Original Pepper Relish – Medium

Savory Topping (see photo of arugula pesto above)

1st Place                              Dondero Orchards, South Glastonbury, CT

Arugula Pesto

2nd Place                             The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT

Spiced Sour Cherry Spread

3rd Place                              Winding Drive Corp., Woodbury, CT

Roasted Garlic & Onion

Snack Food

1st Place                              J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Hot – Jar

2nd Place                             J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Original – Jar

3rd Place                              J.F. Food Concepts, Inc./Fortuna Food Products, Burlington, CT

Fortuna’s Bruschetta – Mild – Jar

Sweet Side

1st Place                              Kathie’s Kitchen, Branford, CT

Cinnamon & Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

2nd Place                             Dondero Orchards, South Glastonbury, CT

Bread & Butter Pickles

3rd Place                              The Great New England Apple Company, New Canaan, CT

Red Barn Apple Sauce

Sweet Topping

1st Place                              TIE

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

French Caramel Cream with Pecans

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

Hot Fudge Cream

2nd Place                             TIE

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

Buttered Almond Cream

The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

French Caramel Cream

3rd Place                              The Purple Pear by Tina, Willington, CT

Fresh Summer Berry

Vinegar

1st Place                              The Olive Oil Factory, Waterbury, CT

Blueberry Infused Balsamic Condimenti Vinegar

2nd Place                             The Olive Oil Factory, Waterbury, CT

Cherry Infused Balsamic Condimenti Vinegar

3rd Place                              The Olive Oil Factory, Waterbury, CT

Raspberry Infused Balsamic Condimenti Vinegar

Wine – Blush

1st Place                              Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Sunset Blush 2010

Wine – Dessert

1st Place                              Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Midnight Ice

2nd Place                             Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Pyrrha’s Passion 2008

3rd Place                              Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

Epiphany Reserve

Wine – Dry Red

1st Place                              Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

St. Croix 2008

2nd Place                             Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT

Cabernet Franc 2008

3rd Place                              Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

Cabernet Franc Vintner’s Selection 2010

Wine – Dry White

1st Place                              Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

Pinot Gris Vintner’s Selection 2010

2nd Place                             Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

Seyval Blanc

3rd Place                              Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

Stonewall Chardonnay

Wine – Fruit

1st Place                              Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

Black Currant Bouquet

Wine – Other White

1st Place                              Hopkins Vineyard, New Preston, CT

Westwind 2010

2nd Place                             Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

Cayuga White

3rd Place                              Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

Cayuga White 2010

Wine – Rosé

1st Place                              Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen, CT

SMV Rosé

2nd Place                             Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

Whirlwind Rosé

3rd Place                              Jones Winery, Shelton, CT

Rosé of Cabernet Franc Vintner’s Selection 2010

CONNECTICUT FOOD ASSOCIATION

Visit us at www.ctfoodassociation.org

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