Lena's Tea Room, Main St, Carrick-on-Shannon
Often dubbed the Oscars of Irish food, Blas na hÉireann, the Irish Food Awards, are the largest food awards on the island, open to all 32 counties, with judging taking place during June and July, finalists notified in August, and finalist judging in Dingle, the home of the awards, in October.
It has reached the penultimate stage of this year’s awards, with the announcement of the finalists who will go through to the final round of judging with 350 producers from across Ireland reaching this coveted stage....and there are two producers from Co Leitrim included - Lena’s Tea Room and McNiffe’s Boxty Bakery.
The Blas na hÉireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas with the Food Science Dept of UCC and the University of Copenhagen that is now recognised as an industry gold standard worldwide.
During the first round of judging which took place over the course of four weeks in June and July, over 2,500 entries were judged in UCC & TU Dublin, bringing the total number of finalists in each category down to just five.
Each of these producer finalists will have their products tasted, compared, savoured and judged at the final of Blas na Éireann 2019 in Dingle on Thursday, 3rd October.
This is the 12th year of the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island, and the Blas na Éireann 2019 final will produce worthy winners of awards that have become an important part of the commercial success of so many exceptional Irish products.