We are blessed to live in an extraordinary food region. And, every now and then, someone happens to take notice. The latest are The Good Food Awards, which have long been good to Virginia, and this year is no exception. To be eligible for a Good Food Award, in categories like Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Spirits, etc., the 2,059 entrants must show that they meet “industry-specific environmental and social criteria.” Then, a blind tasting by experts determines the winners.
Local artisans abound on this year’s list of Finalists, just announced. Just 23 charcuterie items made the finals, and two are right here in Charlottesville. Timbercreek Market’s Duck Rillette, created by Tucker Yoder, and JM Stock Provisions’ Beef Tongue Pastrami join a list of the who’s who of top American charcuterie producers.
It’s no secret that this is one of the nation’s best cider regions, too, and, of the thirteen cider finalists, two call the Commonwealth home: Blue Bee Cider – for their Harvest Ration – and Castle Hill Cider – for 1764 & Levity.
For coffee, Red Rooster Coffee Roaster’s Ethiopia Hambela Washed was honored. For Pantry items, Lindera Farms’ Black Locust Vinegar made the cut. And, for adult beverages, Port City Brewing’s Port City Porter made the Beer list and Texas Beach’s Bloody Mary Mix is a finalist in the Spirits category.
Congratulations to all of Virginia’s finalists. Winners will be announced on January 20, 2017.