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Marlborough-based New Zealand King Salmon has been awarded the top honour by the International Taste & Quality Institute (iTQi) at the annual Superior Taste Awards in Belgium – the first New Zealand company to achieve the award.
The Crystal Taste Award is achieved by two of NZ King Salmon’s Regal Salmon products for gaining the maximum 3-stars three years in a row. The Crystal Taste Award represents the highest recognition for consistent proof of excellence.
Regal’s Wood Roasted products – Natural and Mixed Peppers & Spices – have achieved the 3-star rating yet again this year. Three stars are awarded to “exceptional” products that achieve more than 90 per cent marks in the blind tastings
They join an elite group of only 28 other products worldwide to have received the Crystal Award.
iTQi is the leading independent chef- and sommelier-based organisation dedicated to testing and promoting superior tasting food and drink from around the world.
NZ King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne says the award signifies ongoing dedication to quality and excellence from the company: “We believe in continued improvement and always bettering ourselves and our products.
“This is a huge honour for a niche producer and we’re proud of what we have achieved. We truly believe our products are of the highest quality and taste and we’re delighted that iTQi’s exceptional judging panel of food professionals think so too.”
All six of NZ King Salmon’s products entered into the awards this year achieved two stars or higher. Two stars signifies “remarkable” products that have scored between 80 and 90 per cent marks.
All awards are based on the blind judgement of chefs and sommeliers who are opinion leaders and experts in taste. Judges are selected from prestigious European culinary and sommelier associations.
Products are not compared and are judged solely on their own merit. The focus is on the intensity of gustatory pleasures. Criteria scored are first impression, appearance, aroma, texture, flavour and olfaction (smell) and are commented on by each judge.
The full list of winning Regal Salmon products at the iTQi awards is:
· Regal Wood Roasted Natural 3 Stars (Crystal Taste Award)
· Regal Wood Roasted Mixed Pepper & Spices 3 Stars (Crystal Taste Award)
· Manuka Cold Smoked 3 Stars
· Regal Gravalax 3 Stars
· Regal Fresh Fillet 2 Stars
· Regal Pastrami 2 Stars
NZ King Salmon has been invited to attend the official awards ceremony in Brussels on Thursday 31 May. Full judges’ comments will be available after the awards ceremony.
In an early email to NZKS, iTQi managing partner Christian De Bauw warmly congratulated the company. He went on to say “your company and your team should be particularly proud to market products that are so valued for their superior taste”.
NZ King Salmon sustainably farms King salmon from five sea farms in the cool, deep waters of the South Island’s Marlborough Sounds. The company invests in research and development and is recognised worldwide for its best in class King salmon farming practises.
King salmon has the highest natural content of healthy long-chain Omega-3 oils important for life and good health and which can help to maintain a healthy heart. The Omega-3 oils also contribute to the superior taste of the products.
NZ King Salmon’s Regal brand is available nationwide from supermarkets (NZ only), fish suppliers and good delicatessens. For recipes and serving suggestions visit www.regalsalmon.co.nz. For more information about NZ King Salmon visit www.kingsalmon.co.nz.