Foster congratulates Hannan Meats on Supreme Great Taste success

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated Hannan Meats, a specialist meat business in Moira, on being named as the Supreme Champion in the final of UK Great Taste Awards last night.

The company gained the top award for its Italian style Moyallon Guanciale in the overall awards announced by the UK Guild of Fine Food at a gala event in London.

This is the second year running that the prestigious award has been won by a business in Moira.

Arlene Foster said: “This is another superb achievement by Northern Ireland’s export-focused red meat industry and also for the town of Moira, which has experienced tremendous success in the Great Taste Awards over the past few years.

“It builds on the success of McCartney’s Butchers who won the Supreme Champion and Northern Ireland regional titles last year. Hannan Meats also set an all-time record by winning 26 gold stars in 20 categories.

“The achievements of Hannan Meats and other local companies in this year’s Great Taste Awards are helping to develop Northern Ireland’s standing as a centre of gastronomic excellence.

“Food companies here are now making a significant contribution to the wellbeing of the local economy, particularly in terms of export earnings.

“Food and drink processing is currently worth more than £3 billion to the local economy and around 60% of total sales are made outside Northern Ireland. It is a vibrant and innovation-led industry with immense export potential.”

The award to Hannan Meats, led by Managing Director Peter Hannan, recognises the company’s outstanding commitment to innovation in red meat, in the development of a unique Italian style product.

Moyallon Guanciale is an unsmoked pork jowel -- a cheek dry cured with a blend of herbs, sugar, peppers and spices, garlic and red wine for Italian meals such as spaghetti alla amatriciana and spaghetti carbonara. A unique dry curing technology has been developed, that includes the use of Europe’s only salt chamber comprising salt blocks from the Himalayas in Pakistan.

The product is already attracting the interest of top Italian restaurateurs and chefs in London and other UK centres. The guanciale will shortly go on sale in Selfridges in London. It was previously listed as one of the Top 50 British Foods as part of the UK Great Taste Awards.