Orkney’s parishes are set to go head to head in a special community wide home produce competition being staged this year.

Organised by Orkney Food and Drink, the Homemade in the Parish event will see teams from throughout the islands submit products across a wide range of categories – everything from jams, chutneys, shortbreads and cakes, to home brew, cheeses and savoury pies. There’ll also be a special ‘Buns for Bairns’ baking category for children under 12.

A team of judges will sample the parish team produce at a special event in Kirkwall on 3 May, before deciding on category winners. Members of the public will also have the chance to taste and vote on the food being judged.

Orkney Food and Drink is urging anyone who’d like to get involved in the event – part of the Orkney Year of Food and Drink 2015 initiative – to get together with others from their parish and enter a team.

“Last year’s Orkney Food Awards were a great success but, given they’re a biennial event, we wanted to follow them up in 2015 with something a little different in format to celebrate all our great homemade produce,” said Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts. “Orkney’s parishes have a great tradition of friendly rivalry in sporting competition, so we thought it would be fun to see the best home producers form up teams and go head to head with other local communities.”

Parishes will have to enter at least nine of the 12 competition categories, with rosettes and points awarded to the top three products in each class. Each table/parish will also be judged on presentation and their interpretation of the Orkney Year of Food & Drink 2015 theme. Members of the public will get the chance to vote for their favourite table, with a special Food and Drink Parish Cup awarded to the parish with the most points overall.

Mr Balfour said many parishes already had groups, such as the SWRI, community associations, clubs and church congregations, which could form the basis of teams for the Homemade in the Parish event. He urged local teams to register their interest on the Orkney Food and Drink website – www.orkneyfoodanddrink.com – as soon as possible.

“Everyone in Orkney knows how great our home produce is,” he added. “It’s a very long tradition here and there’s an enormous amount of pride behind its creation, as anyone who visits the local shows will know. We’re sure folk will get behind the event and make it a regular fixture beside our other fiercely contested inter-parish competitions.”

Full details for the Homemade in the Parish event will be available shortly on the Orkney Food and Drink website. Teams wanting to enter should click on the ‘contact us’ link on the site to register interest.

ENDS

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