A CUT above the rest - the finest food and drink from Gwent and Monmouthshire has been internationally recognised in the Great Taste Awards 2020.

Making the county proud are 97 business who have won a spot on the coveted Great Taste 2020 list and can now display the iconic black and gold rosette. 

Following 14 weeks of judging, the results of the world’s most trusted food and drink awards, Great Taste, have been announced with winners from the town. 

Blind tasted by 144 judges, the award is not only a badge of honour but a signpost to an outstanding product. 

One product, with an incredible story, really stands out against the rest. 

The Preservation Society's 'Blissfully Blackcurrant Jam' has been awarded one-star by Great Taste and the accalade only adds to why owner Anghardad Underwood lovingly calls this her 'emotional jam'. 

Whilst undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Ms Underwood found that she had an accute loss of taste and craved something delicious and tasty. 

Ms Underwood said: "When I went through chemo I found that my tastebuds just weren't what they were and it was horrible. 

"I craved something tasty and the blackcurrant jam has enough acidity and flavour to have a real zing."

South Wales Argus:

As a result she started making preservatives, this blackcurrant jam was the first she made that she could truly taste and enjoy whilst undergoing therapy.

Ms Underwood said: "Finding our you've got cancer is awful, finding out that you're going to have chemo is horrific and then finding out you're losing your tastebuds ... It just get worse and worse."

To work around this hurdle Ms Underwood created her jam, she said: "It's so important to be able to sit down and enjoy something simple with your family and losing your tastebuds is a factor people don't think about."

After being treated at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff, Ms Underwood donates 10 pence from every sale to the centre, including all individual and wholesales. 

Ms Underwood said:

"Velindre are beyond brilliant and it's somewhere that we all need. I was never going to run a marathon so as a foodie this is my way of giving back."

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values delicious taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. 

There were 12,777 entries into Great Taste this year from 106 countries.  Of those products, 205 have been awarded a 3-star, 1,294 received a 2-star and 3,818 were awarded a 1-star accolade. 

This year’s winners have been found through a combination of remote judging and socially distanced judging sessions, after the lockdown began just one week into the schedule.

As a result, the Great Taste judging process was reinvented to maintain a robust judging standard that did not compromise the quality of feedback to participants. 

Released in September the awards have come as a much needed boost to the food and drinks industry pre-Christmas. 

Search through all of the Gwent and Monmouthshire winners in the table below:

Will you be trying any of these products? Let us know in the comments.