Flavor of The Year - Salmon
The packed aisles of the 16th annual European Seafood Exposition, which opened yesterday, were buzzing with talk of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, industry consolidation and the global economy.
But today the chatter ringing from the rafters of the cavernous Brussels Exhibition Grounds is about the "flavorful" winners of the eighth annual Seafood Prix d'Elite new products competition.
Two grand-prize winners - cold smoked Alaska sockeye salmon strips and bacon-wrapped Atlantic salmon portions - emerged from a competive field of 40 finalists from a dozen countries worldwide.
Originality, marketability, convenience, nutritional value and packaging were among the judging criteria. But no criterion stood out more than taste - the judges repeatedly praised the flavorfulness of both grand-prize winners.
The best new retail product winner, Stuehrk Delikatessen Import's Bear Biter Alaska sockeye salmon strips, are marinated in an extensive array of flavors - pepper, lemon pepper, herb butter, honey mustard, balsamic and mustard, plum and cognac, hot mango and natural. (The product was also recognized with a special award for seafood product line.)
The best new foodservice product winner, Royal Greenland's Salmon Tournedos Atlantic salmon portions, was commended for its salmon-and-bacon flavor combination.
Both Ole Ritters, managing director of Stuehrk Delikatessen Import, and Jan Soinjoki, product development manager for Royal Greenland, were ecstatic about winning the competition and the marketing opportunities now available to them. They also attributed their Seafood Prix d'Elite success to each product's flavorfulness.
The consumer is the ultimate judge. And when it comes to the consumer, taste remains the No. 1 criteria.