South African bean to bar chocolate brand Afrikoa was recently recognised at the 2018 Great Taste Awards, an international awards scheme for speciality food and drink.
Out of over 12,600 products to be judged in a blind tasting, Afrikoa was awarded a 2-star Great Taste award for its 55% Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate, which means judges believe it to be ‘above and beyond delicious’.
Less than 10% of products achieve a 2-star rating. The 55% dark chocolate was described by judges as being "A milk chocolate mouth-feel with a dark chocolate taste. The tart fruit notes balanced by the slight nuttiness and creaminess travel on and on. An eyes-closed moment to savour."
Great Taste ratings
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers, as well as a host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation 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 of blind tasting by hundreds of judges.
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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.
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.
A win for African cocoa beans
Antonino Allegra, head chocolate-maker for Afrikoa said, “We are incredibly honoured to win in a category with so many fantastic chocolates from around the world – and on our first year of entering the Great Taste Awards too! For us, this is recognition that chocolate made in South Africa from African cocoa beans can compete with the best in the world.
"When we created the 55% semi sweet chocolate, we wanted to make a dark chocolate that chocolate lovers of all ages can enjoy; not too dark and not too sweet - a bar that is in-between a dark and milk chocolate. Thanks to the appreciation the judges showed for our chocolate, we hope Afrikoa will reach more people.”
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There were 12,634 entries into Great Taste this year and of those products, 192 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,207 received a 2-star and 3,254 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges this year included; MasterChef 2018 champion, Kenny Tutt, chef and food writer, Elly Curshen, eco chef and food writer, Tom Hunt, author and chef, Zoe Adjonyoh, baker Tom Herbert, author and blogger, Izy Hossack, and baker and recipe writer, Martha Collison, as well as food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Sourced Market.