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Three Pepper Relish from Atlanta, Merguez sausage from New York and Bacon Schnecken from Cincinnati are among the 10 finalists for the sofi Awards for Outstanding New Product of 2012.
The sofi Awards, presented by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, are considered the top honor in the $75 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.
Finalists for Outstanding New Product 2012:
• Cable Car Delights, Inc. - The Latest Scoop Ginger Pear Sorbet
• Charlito's Cocina - Trufa Seca - Dry Cured Truffle Sausage
• Emily G's - Three Pepper Relish
• Epicure Foods Corporation - Pico Bello
• K.L. Keller Imports - Talcott Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Carneros Estate
• Les Trois Petits Cochons - Merguez Sausage
• Queen City Cookies - Bacon Schnecken
• Sid Wainer & Son Specialty Produce & Specialty Foods - Jansal Valley Basil Crystals
• Spoonable LLC - Brooklyn Butterscotch
• The Rogers Collection - Finca Pascualete Mini Torta
The sofi Awards, now in their 40th year, are open to members of the NASFT, a not-for-profit trade association for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. The awards recognize excellence across 32 categories, from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip, to Outstanding Vinegar. This year’s contest was the most competitive yet, with 2,520 entries overall.
Finalists are selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals in two sessions. Last week, judges convened at NASFT offices in New York to select finalists for Outstanding New Product and Outstanding Product Line. Finalists for the other 30 Awards were selected and announced last month.
Finalists for Outstanding Product Line:
• 479° Popcorn
• Stonemill Kitchens - Gourmet Dips Line
• Urban Accents Inc. – Gotta Cook Tonight Product Line
• Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
• Wildly Delicious Fine Foods
A complete list of finalists is online.
Gold winners will be announced at a red-carpet ceremony on June 18 at the NASFT’s Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C. The event will be hosted by José Andrés, the noted chef and culinary innovator.
The judges evaluated the entries on numerous attributes, including quality, taste, innovation, packaging, ingredients and pricing. The selection of finalists took place over eight days in two sessions.
The panel included: Paul Abbott and Brooke Hohman, Giant Eagle Market District, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Mary Beth Albright, freelance journalist; Nathan Anda, Michael Babin, Tony Chittum, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Alexandria, Va.; Gordon Angles, Wythe Will Tzetzo, Toano, Va.; Annie Baum-Stein, Milk and Honey Market, Philadelphia; Dina Cheney, cookbook author and freelance writer, Cos Cob, Conn.; and Kate Donovan, InStyle Magazine. Judges also included Eric Finkelstein and Matt Ross, Court Street Grocers, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Margaret Furniss, Caviar & Bananas, Charleston, S.C.; Kim Kristofer, KeHe, Romeoville, Ill.; Susan Lacz, Ridgewells, Bethesda, Md.; Eric Larson, Marion Street Cheese Market, Oak Park, Ill.; Erin O’Hagan and Laurie Semon, Olives Gourmet Grocer, Long Beach, Calif.; Chandra Poston, The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C.; Adam Rhein, Eli’s Manhattan, New York, N.Y., Andrew Vialpando, formerly of Central Market, Dallas.