Four Real Maine members were recently recognized by the Good Food Foundation as exceptional food crafters earning the Good Food Award for food quality and taste as well as environmental and social responsibility.
Maine’s Ragged Coast Chocolates takes pride in using fairly traded, local ingredients in their confections.
“We spend a lot of time, energy, and resources to find and use ingredients that are completely traceable to their source,” Kate Shaffer, artistic director and co-founder of Ragged Coast Chocolates, said. “These enormous efforts happen behind the scenes, and often go unnoticed in not only food manufacturing, but in many other industries.”
Shaffer was especially grateful those efforts were recognized when Ragged Coast Chocolates’ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups were named a winner at the 13th annual Good Food Awards recently.
“Winning this award is our 15 seconds of fame for doing the right thing,” Shaffer said.
The Good Food Foundation selected 237 winners in 18 categories from 2,000 entries representing all 50 states for this year’s awards. Winners, who must meet environmental and social responsibility standards, are chosen through a blind tasting process.
Ragged Coast Chocolates was one of four Real Maine members who were recognized as 2023 Good Food Award winners. The others are:
- Liquid Riot Bottling Company, for their barrel-aged American pilsner Blushing Star and for their Old Port Oat Whiskey
- Maine Beer Company, for their Little Whaleboat IPA
- Smithereen Farm, for their Seaweed Sprinkle
“It’s an honor to be recognized for this award, given the criteria,” said Colleen Croteau, chief operating officer of Maine Beer Company. “In looking at the past recipients, we are in good company with some of the very best in America.”
Maine Beer Company has now received Good Food Awards three years in a row. The Little Whaleboat IPA is celebrating its one-year anniversary in May and was crafted to recognize the company’s support of Maine Coast Heritage Trust in their purchase of the Little Whaleboat Islands in Casco Bay.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company has won three previous Good Food Awards. Its Blushing Star beer is Foeder-aged with fruit-forward Brettanomyces yeast strains that is then transferred to a stainless tank with blushing star peaches, locally sourced from Kelly Orchards.
“Being able to keep in touch with the peach farmer who grows peaches for Blushing Star, and provide direct feedback, as well as support the local agricultural farmers who provide grains for Blushing Star, really hits home for us as a whole,” said Greg Abbot, head brewer for Liquid Riot Bottling Company. “We are proud and honored to be named as part of the elite group of Good Food Award winners.”
Liquid Riot Bottling Company’s Old Port Oat Whiskey is made with Maine-grown, organic rolled oats and is aged in fresh charred White American Oak barrels.
“I find it incredibly satisfying to support Maine’s rich agricultural history by using locally grown grains in all our whiskey products. Not only does this practice help Maine’s farmers, but I feel that it also imparts a regional flavor to our products,” Ian Michaud, head distiller for Liquid Riot Bottling Company. “Our Oat Whiskey is made with pale malt from Blue Ox Malthouse and flaked oats from Aurora Mills and Farm. Oats are not a common ingredient in whiskey, but I feel they help create a beautiful final product.”
This year’s award marks the fourth time Ragged Coast Chocolates has been recognized with a Good Food Award. Their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are hand-crafted with direct-trade, single-origin chocolate from Ecuador, organic peanut butter, and Maine sea salt.
Other Maine winners at this year’s Good Food Awards were Dean’s Sweets for their Hot Fudge Sauce and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association for their Maine Coast Monkfish Stew.
Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. From seedlings to maple syrup to farm cafes plan your spring Real Maine agricultural experience. Visit www.RealMaine.com to connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.