If you notice a Good Food Award seal on a product, you can be assured it is not only delicious but also crafted sustainably and in a socially responsible way. The sticker distinguishes it in the marketplace and tells you it was a winner at the Good Food Awards, an annual West Coast competition. The winners were recently announced at a ceremony in San Francisco and artisanal products from 14 New England companies got the coveted accolade, including three from the Bay State — Silk Road Halvah (a tahini-based candy) made with five-spice powder from Sherborn-based Halvah Heaven; ginger syrup crafted at Old Friends Farm in Amherst; and a dark chocolate bar named Esmeraldas by Goodnow Farms Chocolate of Sudbury.
The judges — cookbook authors, food journalists, chefs, chocolatiers, retailers, and other culinary professionals — choose the foods in a blind tasting. This year, 199 food and drink crafters from around the country were picked from 2,057 entries from coffee roasters, chocolatiers, brewers, cheesemakers, curers, picklers, and those who churn out elixirs, like shrubs, syrups, bitters, and more.
Vermont winners include two cider makers, Shacksbury in Vergennes for fermented hard apple cider and Fable Farm Fermentory of Barnard for Pronoia, barrel-aged and slightly sparkling; cheesemaker Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet for Rupert, an Alpine-style, aged, raw cow’s milk; Blake Hill Preserves in Windsor for Wild Blueberries With Thyme Preserve. Two confections got awards — Salted Maple Pecan Caramel by Red Kite Candy of Bradford, and Goat’s Milk Caramel Sauce from Fat Toad Farm in Brookfield. There was one winner from Rhode Island: peanut butter maker SanoBe in Warren, for Crunchy Cacao Peanut Butter. From Maine, the recognition went to the brewery Allagash for a malty, amber-hued beer made with locally grown hops named Sixteen Counties, and honey from Gold Star Honeybees of Waterville. New Hampshire’s Wozz! Kitchen Creations in Bethlehem was honored for Spiced Beet Vinegar. The Throwback Brewery in North Hampton took an award for Love Me Long Time, a Bohemian-style pilsner. To see all the winners go to www.good
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND