MOUNT MAYON Premium Pili Nuts — Ecuadorian cacao received a three-star rating at the 2018 Great Taste Awards.

NINE PHILIPPINE-MADE products were recognized at the 2018 Great Taste Awards, with a pili nut snack receiving the highest three-star ranking.
The Great Taste Awards, considered the “Oscars” of the food world, is organized by the Guild of Fine Food. Last year, only two Philippine-made products were recognized by the awards.
Mount Mayon Premium Pili Nuts — Ecuadorian cacao flavor received a three-star rating at the Great Taste Awards. Made by Zambales-based Subic Superfood, Inc., the pili nuts are coated with cacao and organic coconut sugar.
The Himalayan Pink Salt flavor of Mount Mayon Premium Pili Nuts also awarded two stars. Subic Superfood cultivates and harvests its pili nuts at the foot of the Mt. Mayon in Albay, Bicol.
The products of Davao City-based Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. drew the most attention among the Philippine goods at the Great Taste awards this year.
The Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate received two stars, an upgrade from last year’s one star ranking. The Malagos 100% Unsweetened Chocolate again received a one-star award under the hot drink category which includes chocolates. The two products were also recognized in last year’s awards.
New to the 2018 Great Taste Awards’ list are Malagos 72% Dark Chocolate and Malagos 100% unsweetened chocolate — both chocolate bars.
Another awardee was Auro Chocolate for its chocolate bars — 74% Dark Chocolate of Saloy origin and 64% Dark Chocolate of Davao origin.
Meanwhile, Le Potager, Inc., which carries The Fruit Garden Food Products brand, took home one star for its Pineapple Coco Rhum Jam.
The company is one of the exporters assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Export Marketing Bureau under its Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus program which aims to enhance products of Philippine exporters.
“Fruit Garden is the first and only Filipino company in the Jam Segment to be selected due to its product’s distinct taste which is achieved by its cooking process in copper cauldrons, in small batches, under strict quality control. The Fruit Garden also takes pride in the achievement of its unique flavor, made of local ingredients,” the DTI said in a Wednesday statement.
Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for fine food and drink. It supports, promotes and mentors artisan food producers who want to supply the United Kingdom’s independent retail sector and overseas stores selling fine food.
Since 1994, more than 120,000 products have been put through this robust judging process wherein they are blind-tasted by select chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics and writers.
For this year, producers entered 12,634 products. Of this, only 37% were accredited: only 1.52% or 192 foods achieved the most coveted rating, three stars; 9.55% or 1,207 items grabbing two stars; and 25.76% or 3,254 were awarded a 1 star. — Janina C. Lim