Since they were launched two years ago the FreeFrom Christmas Awards have been a great success. And how lucky are ‘freefrom-ers’ these days! From Advent calendars to gifts, party food to Christmas dinner, there is no longer any need for them to miss out. Indeed, the whole family can happily eat freefrom and never know the difference!
All the results are to be found on the Awards website and on their Instagram page (along with some fun reels of the judging process – even Boris the ginger cat got a look in!) but here are a few of the high points.
NOMO, the freefrom arm of Kinnerton Confectionery, walked off not only with the Independent Brand award but with the Christmas Food Product of the year. No judge could resist their After Eight look-a-like mints – regular After Eights are off the menu for anyone with a milk issue and are greatly missed. Nomo also got a gold for their Father Christmas Advent Calendar – as did new company Fetcha Chocolates. A third and a fourth gold also went to NOMO in the gifting category for their Gluten-Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free Selection Box and their Choc Fudge Reindeer.
The Gifting and stocking filler category was in fact overflowing with gold winners – the vast majority of which were, inevitably chocolate. MooFree – another much loved milk free chocolate brand, a couple of Asda chocolates, Creative Nature’s Creeamy M*lk Chocolate Magibles and, of course, a BoojaBooja special – their Winter Collection. The one outlier was Horsham Gingerbread Bakehouse’s amazingly tasty Twelfth Nights Oat & Butter Sussex Biscuits.
Leaving the chocolate behind – the Party Food category notched up a good number of gold winners too. A delicious Pork, Chicken & Stuffing Pie from pork pie makers Voakes FreeFrom, some extremely tasty and innovative Laksa Inspired Aromatic Cones from Tesco (crispy savoury cones filled with milk and egg free vegetable stuffing), and some equally innovative Dough-Chi Sweet & Salty Popcorn from Doughlicious. And, basic but oh so convenient, a gluten free Turkey Feast Sandwich from M&S.
Three Christmas Dinner golds all went to products which would look familiar on any Christmas table but which had just been tweaked to ensure that they did not include any allergens – although the potatoes did have sulphites: this Tesco finest* Crackling Porchetta Pork Joint, Aldi’s Slow Cooked Gammon Shank with Treacle Glaze and Tesco Finest* Beef Dripping Roast Potatoes. All super tasty and super convenient for the stressed and overworked Christmas cook.
If you had any room left after gorging yourself on the pre-lunch party nibbles and those fab joints, there were a selection of After Dinner gold winners to fill that remaining corner: Those NOMO ‘After Eight’ mints, these Tesco Salted Caramel Chocs, a Schar coconut ball, a Honeycomb Bauble from Tesco or for the stout hearted (or those who had held back on the joint) Veg oot’s Free From Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Washing all that down, of course, you need some Christmas drinks and the drinks makers did not disappoint although only two actually got that sought after gold medal: this Soldadera Blanco Non-Alcoholic Tequila Alternative and Prime Time’s Premium Lager.
So, time for a brisk walk….. And then – Tea Time!! And I hate to tell you but you have six gold winners to sample here….. Asda’s Milk Chocolate Coated Caramelised Biscuit Sandwich, M&S’ Chocolate Yule log, Pasticceria Venezia’s Gluten Free Panettone, Waitrose FreeFrom Mince pies and two Tesco products – their Finest* Cranberry and Orange Brownies or their Chocolate Orange Cookies.
I think you will agree that no allergic family is going to go hungry this Christmas!