The Supreme Champion trophy of the Great Taste Awards has been scooped by a meat company based in Northern Ireland
The winning product is called Moyallon Guanciale (pronounced gwan-chali), and it's a bacon style product made by Hannan Meats in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The product rose to the top after 8,800 products were judged by some of the country's finest food experts.
Peter Hannan, MD of Hannan Meats, was asked by owners and chefs of Italian restaurants to produce Guanciale which is an authentic ingredient in many pasta dishes.
It is becoming increasingly rare in Italy and it is almost certain that Hannan Meats is the only maker of Guanciale in the UK. Un-smoked pigs jowl (or cheek) is dry-cured with herbs such as fennel and thyme, sugar, peppers, spices, garlic and red wine to produce a flavour that is stronger than pancetta but with a more delicate, subtle texture which is considered essential in many recipes from Umbria and Lazio in central Italy.
“This is simply an exquisite example of a product that has its roots in Italy but has been made brilliantly in Great Britain. Our judges were unanimous in their appreciation of the Guanciale which uses traditional skills to turn what is essentially a humble pigs cheek into a sublime dry-cured bacon – almost a case of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” said Bob Farrand, Guild of Fine Food chairman.