26th November 2021 By Staff Reporter | email@example.com | @foodtickernz
A product with a powerful New Zealand food story that celebrates the country’s evolving fermentation scene has been awarded the top gong at the 2021 New Zealand Food Awards, powered by Massey University.
Auckland’s The Wild Fermentary took out the Massey University supreme award for its Smoky Kāpeti, a fermented sauerkraut with pūhā, or sow thistle, beating 65 finalists from 45 companies to the title bestowed at an online ceremony on Thursday evening.
The Clevedon-based business specialises in all things fermented, and uses ingredients including dandelion, stinging nettle, nasturtium and pūhā for their ferments. It also picked up the trophy for the chilled category award, again sponsored by Massey University.
“This is a powerful New Zealand food story, and hits the perfect balance between the traditional art and the modern science of fermentation,” head judge Kay McMath said.
“The Wild Fermentary have used wild foraged pūhā that is dehydrated to extend its season, locally grown jalapenos and a natural wild fermentation process that is carefully monitored and adjusted to enable bold flavours with minimal variances.
“The company ensures all parts of the ingredients are utilised in some way, and has established flexible ways of working to enable members of the wider community to participate in production. Innovative, sustainable and truly excellent, this product is unique and exciting.”
A raft of other winners were crowned on the night, including Vogel’s Original Mixed Grain Bread, which triumphed over other iconic Kiwi products – Wattie’s Tomato Sauce and Whittaker’s Peanut Slab – to take out the product lifetime achievement award.
Nelson drink company Chia Sisters’ Immunity Hot Tonic took home the beverage award, sponsored by Food Innovation Network; Golden Bay distiller Dancing Sands’ Sauvignon Blanc Gin won the novel category, sponsored by KiwiSo; and Beard Brothers’ Pork and Cress picked up the hotly contested artisan award category, sponsored by Cuisine Magazine.
Two plant-based mince products were also recognised on the night: Vince’s Mexican Style vegetable mince won the pantry award, sponsored by Countdown; and Food Nation’s Mexican, corn and red pepper Magic Mince won the health and wellbeing category, also sponsored by Countdown.
The food hero category, sponsored by Palmerston North City Council, was back this year after debuting in 2020 in what was expected to be a one-off Covid-era category.
This award celebrated people or organisations that supported the New Zealand food and beverage supply chain in some way, and while the judges selected the finalists, the winner was determined by public vote, which saw Canterbury produce company Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables given the gong.
The full list of 2021 New Zealand Food Awards winners:
Massey University Supreme Award
The Wild Fermentary – Smoky Kāpeti
Artisan Award – Sponsored by Cuisine
Beard Brothers – Pork and Cress
Below Zero Award – Sponsored by FoodHQ
Let’s Eat – Plant-Based Golden Nuggets
Beverage Award – Sponsored by Food Innovation Network
Chia Sisters – Immunity Hot Tonic
Chilled Award – Sponsored by Massey University
The Wild Fermentary – Smoky Kāpeti
Health and Wellbeing Award – Sponsored by Countdown
Food Nation – Magic Mince – Mexican, Corn & Red Pepper
Novel Award – Sponsored by KiwiSo
Dancing Sands – Sauvignon Blanc Gin
Pantry Award – Sponsored by Countdown
Vince – Vegetable Mince – Mexican Style
Primary Sector Award – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety
Hemp Connect – Hemp Hearts
Product Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by AsureQuality
Vogel’s – Original Mixed Grain Bread
Business Innovation Award – Sponsored by BNZ
Food Safety Culture Award – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety
Food Hero Award – Sponsored by Palmerston North City Council
Oakley’s Premium Fresh Vegetables Ltd
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