North Yorkshire bakery Thomas the Baker was rewarded with two Great Taste Awards for the fruits of its labour this week.
Judges at the coveted 2012 Great Taste Awards – the epicurean equivalent of the Booker Prize – dubbed the family bakery’s Yorkshire Brack and Christmas Pudding “near perfect”, awarding them with one Gold Star each.
This is the third time Thomas’s classic Christmas Pudding has secured a top spot in an independent taste test. The pudding, stuffed with vine fruits, grated carrot and steeped in Guinness and dark rum and made according to a 70-year-old recipe, has already proved to be a soar away winner, scoring four out of five stars in Channel 4’s ‘The Big 4Food Christmas Pudding Taste Test’, with the 4Food team describing it as “Yum, boozy and fruity”. And, last year, it was crowned top pud in an independent taste test by the Harrogate Advertiser, beating off competition from Betty’s and Lewis & Cooper.
Thomas the Baker’s new Yorkshire Brack – neither a bread nor a cake, but more a scrumptiously sticky fruit cake/bread – has also been a winner in the popularity stakes since it was introduced last year. Made with a blend of delicious dried fruits soaked overnight in real Yorkshire tea, it is created using traditional fermentation methods, hand finished for better batter texture, and with added cinnamon and nutmeg for extra tastiness.
Thomas the Baker’s general manager Simon Thomas said:
These products are a real team effort as all the processes are done by hand – so we are delighted they have been chosen to receive such a prestigious award. We pride ourselves in putting only the best ingredients into our products, with up to 70 per cent of produce sourced from local farms. The flour used in our Yorkshire Brack comes from East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire farms, and fresh eggs are sourced from farms in the North of England. It’s these elements – and our experience – that makes for their Great Taste!
The bakery, which has been baking and selling bread, rolls and cakes across York, North Yorkshire and Teesside for more than 20 years, prides itself on offering customers some of the best traditional, additive-free recipes and baked-that-day products in Yorkshire. The company competed against more than 8,800 other products to scoop the awards.
Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for speciality and fine food & drink. The annual Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food, are the acknowledged benchmark for speciality food and drink. This year, more than 2,500 companies entered the awards and the meticulous judging regime saw each entry subjected to blind-tasting and evaluation by no less than 350 judges over a two-month period.