The island of Sanday won Orkney’s home produce championship after a fiercely contested community wide competition held in Kirkwall at the weekend.
Eleven Orkney parishes went head to head in the Homemade in the Parish event, staged by Orkney Food and Drink.
Parish teams submitted products across a wide range of categories – everything from jams, chutneys, shortbreads and cakes, to home brew, cheeses and savoury pies. A special ‘showstopper cake’ section was also contested, along with a special baking category for children under 12.
A panel of judges sampled all the parish produce at the event, held in Kirkwall Grammar School on Saturday (6 May), before deciding on category winners. Members of the public also had the chance to taste the food being judged, and vote on each team’s presentation, before the special Parish Cup was awarded to top scoring entrants, Sanday.
The inaugural Homemade in the Parish competition - staged two years ago – was won by the island of Westray, so Sanday’s victory ensures the trophy stays in Orkney’s North Isles.
“We’re just very chuffed,” said Jacqueline Seatter from the four-strong Sanday contingent. “Our secret was team work and the theme of our presentation – history, heritage and archaeology – just suited Sanday too. We more or less took Sanday here on a table!”
Jacqueline added: “The produce is from all over the island. We held a mini Homemade in the Parish event in the island and got the public to come and vote. The winners from that then came forward to represent the island at the competition here in Kirkwall. It got the whole community involved and was a good way to go about it.”
Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “The inaugural Homemade in the Parish event two years ago was a real success, but it’s safe to say that this year’s event has again exceeded all expectations. We saw another step up in the standard of the produce being presented, with every parish team displaying a tremendous commitment to all the competition categories. It was also fantastic to see so many members of the public coming along to get involved.
“Although good-natured, of course, the contest was fiercely contested and there was actually very little separating out the teams in terms of points throughout the day, such was the quality of produce on display. Sanday just edged the win in the end, ensuring the Parish Cup stays in the North Isles for another two years, so many congratulations to them.”
“Orkney Food and Drink’s aim with Homemade in the Parish was to create a fun competition that would engage with communities throughout the islands, and help keep local traditions alive, so we’re delighted with how well received it’s been. The event has also been a great showcase for all our fantastic local produce.”
Mr Balfour added: “We’d like to thank everyone who competed in the event and all the folk who turned up to taste and vote on the produce. We’d also like to say a special thank you to all the event sponsors.”
Click on the table below to see the winners from each category on the day.