Derbyshire farm shop Croots has struck gold in this year’s Great Taste Awards with a trio of gold stars.

The farm shop near Duffield scooped a gold star award for its pork, apple and Stilton sausage, a gold star for its Shire ale, and a gold star for its Croots crunchy fruit muesli.

The awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food, are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry and are highly prized.

“We are thrilled to hear that three of our products have won a gold star in the 2013 Great Taste Awards,” said Steve Croot, who runs the farm shop at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road.

“These awards are rigorously and professionally judged and to win a gold star signifies that a product is really something quite special.”

Last year Croots Farm Shop scooped a two star gold award for its home smoked back bacon. The previous year it won two one star gold Great Taste Awards for its traditional pork pie and its lemon oil. In 2010 another of Croots’ ales, cow juice beer, won a gold star rating, while the previous year the accolade was given to the farm shop’s black pudding sausage.

The latest awards mean that Croots now has eight gold star Great Taste Awards for its own products.

The pork, apple and Stilton sausage and the crunchy fruit muesli are made at the farm shop, while the Shire ale is one of a number of beers made for Croots by Shottle Farm Brewery, near Belper.

“Nearly 10,000 products were entered into the Great Taste Awards this year, but only a fraction received a one, two or three gold star award,” said Steve Croot. “We are honoured that our products have once against been hailed as some of the best of their kind in the country.”

Judges said of the award-winning sausages: “These look good and plump. They cut very easily. Judges like the look of these sausages in their natural casings. There’s a strong taste of Stilton and a pleasant, but very smooth texture.”

They described the crunchy fruit muesli as ‘a wholesome product with no compromise on flavour’ and said that the Shire ale had a wonderful aroma that was warm and rich. They went on to add: “There’s a good colour to this beer and it has a great clarity. There is also a pleasant sweetness and a lovely burnt – but in a good way – finish. The carbonation is good and delivers a little prickle up front. There’s a lovely whisky note too, a slight peatiness, perhaps from the smoked malt. A good example of this type of beer and the judges like the smokiness.”

Croots Farm Shop opened its doors in June 2008, and has recently expanded with a much larger café and restaurant, Shires Eatery.

On Saturday August 24th it will be staging a free vintage and classic car day, as well as a burger festival, cheese sampling and wine tasting.

Croots Farm Shop is open Sundays from 10am to 4pm (Shires Eatery until 3.45pm), and from Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm). It is closed on Mondays.

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