We’ve always been very proud of the flavor and quality of our meats, so we appreciate it when other people take notice of our specialties. The N.A.S.F.T. (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) is an organization that works with specialty food producers across the country and, once a year, the organization gives some very coveted awards called “sofi” awards to the finest products on the market. Specialty food producers everywhere have their fingers crossed each year, just hoping to receive one of these very special awards.
The sofi awards are like the Oscars of the food industry. Everyone hopes to be awarded one at some point. There are many different categories that products can be entered in, ranging from “Outstanding Snack Food” and “Outstanding Hot Beverage” to “Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product”. The foods that are entered into the competition are very diverse and are of excellent quality. Judging takes place in two separate segments: First, finalists are selected from all of the products submitted. Finalists receive silver medals and then are entered into the finals, or gold judging level.
Nueske’s is the only meat company in the nation to have received four sofi gold medals in a space of ten years or less. Each gold medal awarded has been in the “Outstanding Meat, Pate, & Seafood” category and the winner each time has been our classic Applewood Smoked Bacon (2001, 2006, 2009, 2010). This means that our original bacon beat all the other entries that fall into that segment, like beef, salami, and shrimp.
This week, the silver finalists going on to the gold level of the 2011 sofi awards were announced and we’re very happy to be able to tell you that three Nueske’s products have achieved the silver finalist level. They are our Applewood Smoked Honey-Glazed Spiral-Sliced Ham, Wild Cherrywood Smoked Uncured Bacon, and Applewood Smoked Bacon. These silver winners are now moving on to the gold round of judging, taking place this July, and we are hopeful that our traditional family recipes and excellent taste earn another gold medal for Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats.