”Remarkable”, “flawless”, and “a balm for the soul”… these are just some of the compliments Great Taste Award judges showered on our products this year. And they gave us 20 stars to prove it! Our raw honey, molasses, meze , olive oils and vinegars were all singled out for stars, with our date molasses receiving the coveted 3-stars of excellence. Less than 2% of the 12,777 products entered this year were awarded three stars, which means our date molasses is very special indeed. Great Taste is a stamp of approval from one of the world’s most trusted food and drink awards. Judging takes place over 14 weeks of blind taste testing by esteemed experts including The Telegraph’s Xanthe Claywriter, cook and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, and renowned chef, José Pizarro to mention a few. Odysea founder Panos Manuelides commented, “Great Taste judges understand Odysea’s values of quality, authenticity and creativity – and we’re delighted to have 20 shining stars in recognition.” Here’s a round up of the 16 winners, including recipe inspiration to bring some star-quality to your dining table:
Date Molasses 3 stars ***
“Remarkable and gorgeous”: judges could not give enough praise for our date molasses’ “lustrous texture” and perfect balance of sweetness and intriguing complexity. One impressed judge asked: “How can something so pure and simple have such depth and nuance?”. The answer, of course, is the plump Persian semi-soft dates we harvest in autumn, which are simply pressed to extract their juicy elixir. Addictive on everything from couscous and cakes to fruit smoothies.
Pomegranate Molasses 2 stars **
“Flawless” is how judges summed up this deliciously tart syrup. They applauded its “truly dramatic” flavour with “just the most gorgeous ruby-red colour… and syrupy viscosity.” We can’t resist it drizzled over roasted squash and feta or in a buttermilk cake, and judges said it was “Such a good example of the genre… That it inspires us to expand our existing repertoire of culinary uses.”
Pine & Fir Tree Raw Honey 2 stars**
It’s the fourth time this raw honey has won two Great Taste Award stars, which is probably why judges distinguished its “character and depth (and) very unique saltiness.” One judge deemed it a “luxurious treat right out of the jar” and another went so far as to say it’s “a balm for the soul.” Get converted and add raw honey in your diet is or get cooking with this raspberry mini cakes recipe.
Grape Molasses 1 star*
Judges said this was: “An unusual product (that) many cooks would find many uses for as it is delicious and, above all, interesting.” We couldn’t agree more. Especially as it’s based on an old technique from Greek housewives who traditionally harvested grapes in autumn and used it as a natural sweetener throughout the year. Get experimenting with our Petimezopita spiced cake recipe.
Carob Molasses 1 star*
Our carob molasses sparked judges’ imaginations with its malty finish and treacly texture. They felt it was a versatile ingredient with “such a spectrum of flavours” and “full bodied sweetness that just goes on and on.” Why not start the day with this banana and carob smoothie.
Greek Spring Blossom Raw Honey 1 star*
Our raw honey impressed judges with a “light floral bouquet (and) a touch of black tea on the nose.” They appreciated our artisan honey producer’s hard work when they described it as “honest and thoroughly enjoyable.” Try it drizzled on peaches, rosemary and saganaki cheese.
Greek Oak Tree Raw Honey 1 star*
This raw honey’s “luscious mouthfeel” and how the complex flavour “bursts on the taste buds” were two highlights. Judges liked the “subtle herby, woody tones and black treacle bitterness” which we feast on with crispy fried saganaki with figs.
Balsamic Glaze 1 star*
Commended for its “luxuriously glossy appearance and a beautifully thick syrupy consistency,” judges loved the balance of balsamic sweetness and tartness of vinegar, which is one reason we drizzle it on saganaki cheese or in a honey and mustard dressing.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena 1 star*
This PGI vinegar was celebrated as “perfect for everyday use.” Judges said it was “sweet, tart and rich all at once”, which is why it works so well on sweet-savoury sautéed mushrooms and stands up to robust griddled manouri cheese salad too.
Organic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil PGI Chana 1 star*
A gentle, versatile oil with “a good flavour arc and pleasing finish” and “lots of anticipated grassy, herby notes,” this cold-extracted, nutritionally-rich olive oil is our go-to for classic salad dressings and dipping.
Greek Kalamata PDO Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 star*
This oil won one star with its “wonderful fresh green aroma” that opens up on the palate with great depth. The kalamata olives bring a distinctive bitterness that’s perfect as a drizzle, Greek dip or dressing.
Alexandria Style Greek Pitted Olives 1 star*
The beautiful colour combination of black kalamata and green Konservolia olives won judges over, and “strike a good balance between the sweet, bitter and salty.” They also enjoyed the rich olive oil with unusual cumin spicing – which we highly recommend as a base for salad dressings.
Big Kalamata Olives 1 star*
“Excellent balancing sweetness” and the salty tartness makes these olives “very moreish and easy to eat.” We recommend them whizzed up in a thyme and olive tapenade or arranged in elegant chorizo, saganaki cheese and kalamata olive skewers.
Aubergine Meze 1 star*
We adore this dip’s indulgent, homemade texture, and judges did too. They praised it as a “good, clean, honest artisan product” and “definitely one to hunt down in the shops.” We eat it out of the jar or mixed with tahini for a quick babaganoush.
Gigantes beans 1 star*
“This is a jar of luscious looking beans!” exclaimed one judge, and they complimented their creamy texture and authentic Mediteranean flavour too. “A perfect cupboard staple” was the unanimous verdict, which is why we always eat them in a meze, baked with spinach, or just on toast.
Roasted red and yellow peppers 1 star*
“Gloriously bright and colourful” with an “excellent, well balanced variety of flavour.” Great Taste judges are clearly food lovers after our own heart, as they said they’d enjoy these peppers “straight out of the jar” just as much as cooking them. For that, we’d recommend a Greek cheese pie, baked with chicken, or a shakshuka egg brunch.
Shop Odysea Great Taste Awards 2020 winners.