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Noble’s Shellfish & Curing Whitby among Great Taste winners of 2019. Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food and drink awards, has announced its stars of 2019. Out of 12,772 products sent in from over 100 different countries, Noble’s Shellfish & Curing Whitby North Yorkshire was awarded a 1-star Great Taste award, which means judges dubbed it a food that delivers fantastic flavour and two 2-star Great Taste awards, which means judges dubbed them above and beyond delicious for its White Crab Meat “winning 1 star” Whitby Kippers and Whitby Kipper Fillets “both winning 2 stars”

Noble’s White Crab Meat processed fresh and handpicked daily to ensure the best tasting super fresh crab meat available – the judges’ comments;

Table 3: Good sized chunky pieces of white crab meat. There is a good amount of moisture and bright flesh with a hint of pink. It looks and smells freshly picked with a hint of the sea. It has a clean, sweet and moist flavour.

Table 6: Attractive luscious crab with clean fresh crab aroma. The texture is soft and creamy. Flavour is clean fresh and is simply great fresh crab from the sea.

Noble’s Whitby Kippers traditionally cured, air dried and smoked over oak shavings for 12 to 18 hours – the judges’ comments;

Table 3: A wonderful size and a really oaky aroma. The flesh was clean, sweet and smokey and beautifully moist. The kipper was well-balanced with a light cure. The flavour had just the right smokiness, leaving no acidity on the palate. The darker flesh was rich and creamy – in fact it was just perfect, and we couldn’t stop tasting!

Table 99G: A deeply burnished kipper with a very robust smoke aroma – bonfire almost. The flesh is juicy and soft to the tooth, the smoke starts to develop – lingering and rounded. A grown-up kipper we feel.

Table R1: This is a beautiful thing, burnished from the smoke, there is sweetness of flavour and the fish is soft and moist in texture.

Table 5: A beautifully smoked kipper with a lovely gentle oak flavour, The fish tastes very fresh, succulent, sweet and meaty.

Noble’s Whitby Kipper Fillets traditionally cured, air dried and smoked over oak shavings for 12 to 18 hours for those of us who prefer bones removed – the judges’ comments;

Table 5: Beautifully meaty, glossy and succulent kippers, well-prepared and presented. Sweet and quite strongly smoky, with a rich, oiliness that’s really tasty. The fish is really moist and flavourful.

Table 99G: A bronzed beauty on the tray, at first a sweet fish flavour followed by smoke.

Table r2: The fish is succulent and sweet. The salt level is perfect, and the smoke is bold and punchy and works very well. An excellent example of kippers.

Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers, as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind tasting by hundreds of judges.

John Noble, Director, explains:

“My great grandfather David James Wood was born on 2nd November 1869 in Whitby, in the 1891 census David and Martha Wood (nee Harland) were living in Kiln Yard afoot of the famous 199 abbey steps “the yard my parents lived when I was born in 1962

Prior to this, David and Martha lived at the top of Henrietta Street however due to cliff subsidence their house was leaning so badly the top floor had to be removed which is how they came to live in Kiln Yard.

David and Martha ran a small business curing herring otherwise known as kippers, after cleaning and brining the herrings would be hung to dry in preparation for the cold smoking process, David would travel to the local sawmill in his pony and trap pulled by his pony “Polly” to collect shavings and sawdust before preparing the smoking fires for the kipper house.

As well as curing the herring to make kippers they would sell crabs and winkles they gathered from the scuar below the cliffs and Whitby Abbey, and the rest as they say is, History.

Some 10 years ago the business was sold due to no one being able to take over and run operations and then closed down soon after, myself,  having worked in the oil and gas industry for 36 years realised it was time to end my travelling days and decided to set up in our new factory with the help of my wife, relatives “with advice and over 60 years’ experience and knowhow” and our small team went into production 28th March 2018.

We traditionally cure and smoke all our own products using skills passed down through 5 generations and keeping the heritage of the curing and smoking industry alive here in Whitby, we responsibly source our fish, where possible with full traceability. All our shellfish is locally caught here in Whitby along the North Yorkshire coast providing further business for our local fishing fleet. We processed our shellfish fresh daily to ensure our customers get the best possible product available.

Winning three awards in our first year back in business is a fantastic achievement and proves to use that the skills used, and attention taken in the production of our products ends in satisfaction for our customers”.

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is vinegar, granola, bacon or cheese being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.

There were 12,772 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 208 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,326 received a 2-star and 3,409 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges this year included; cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion, author, Olia Hercules, chef and food writer, Gill Meller, Kavi Thakar from Dishoom, food writer and stylist, Georgina Hayden and author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Sourced Market and Partridges. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the Great Taste 2019 Supreme Champion.

Great Taste 2019 will reach its exciting finale on Sunday 1 September, when the world of fine food gathers at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London to find out the Great Taste Golden Fork trophy winners for each region, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2019.

What is Great Taste?

Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.

Since 1994 over 146,000 products have been assessed. This year 12,772 products were blind tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, food writers, influencers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

 Great Taste ratings

3-star: Extraordinarily tasty foods – less than 3% of products are awarded a 3-star each year – don’t

leave the shop without buying it!

2-star:  Above and beyond delicious – less than 10% of entries will achieve this rating

1-star: A food that delivers fantastic flavour. Approximately 25% of entries will achieve this rating each year.

What are Great Taste judges looking for?

They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.