Taste of Kent Awards logo

Kent’s Tastiest Apple and Pear has been picked!

Announced ahead of the glitzy black-tie 2022 Taste of Kent Awards (TOKA) event in May, two early winners of this prestigious event, namely Kent’s Tastiest Apple and Pear varieties, were revealed at the National Fruit Show last month.

Kentsand the nations tastiest pear winners B Piper partnership

The National Fruit Show was held on October 21st at Detling Show Ground. Executive Chair of the show, Sarah Calcutt comments,

“The overall consensus was that despite the atrocious weather at times this year, the quality and depth of flavour in the entries really demonstrates what a difference the British climate and terroir makes to the flavour of fruit grown here.

“The criteria for entry into Taste of Kent Awards, is to be a National Fruit Show winner, as well as a high points scorer in the main dessert apple and pear classes.

“The National Fruit Show has its own tastiest apple, which is often, though not always, the same as the Kent winner. This year, the awards were presented to the winners in person which was a joyful experience for all.”

The winner of the Taste of Kent Award for Kent’s Tastiest Apple is Elverton Farms Ltd for its Gala Variety. The Johnson family, on their farms just outside Faversham and Canterbury, grow pears, cherries and hops as well as growing outstanding Gala apples.

Sarah Calcutt adds, “They are strong supporters of the National Fruit show, regularly picking up a few trophies and we are thrilled to see them bring home this trophy.”

The winner of the taste of Kent Award for Kent’s Tastiest Pear is B Piper Partnership for its Concorde Variety. Brian Piper and his daughter Rachel (pictured) are very well known for their cherries, regularly picking up multiple awards in the cherry and soft fruit show which is held annually.

Sarah Calcutt adds, “It was wonderful seeing them get the inaugural Tastiest Pear award with Concorde, a very worthy winner that received great praise from the judges.”

Pictured left to right: Sarah Calcutt – Executive Chair National Fruit Show, Rachel Piper, Floortje Hoette CE of Produced in Kent and Taste of Kent Awards, Teresa Wickham – President National Fruit Show.

The 2021 panel of judges were made up of John and Stuart Guest; John blogs as The English Apple Man, Professor Rebecca Cassidy from Goldsmiths University, Wendy Chapman and Peter Checkley who are both experience fruit growers and Gary Marshall; Chair of the Covent Garden Market Tenants Association.

“It was wonderful to be able to present the worthy winners with their awards and taste the glorious fruits. Great timing as we gear up to launch TOKA 2022 and announce the sponsors for next year's awards ceremony, the first of which I'm thrilled to announce is South East Farmer.”

Jamie McGrorty of South East Farmer says,

“The whole team at South East Farmer are delighted to be sponsoring the Soft Fruit and Top Fruit categories for 2022 TOKA. For over 40 years South East Farmer has had the pleasure of writing about our region's growers and promoting the fact that they grow the very best fruit in the world, so it is fitting that we sponsor this category. We wish all our south east farmers and growers a successful season ahead.”

To stay up to date with TOKA 2022 and other Produced in Kent news, sign up to the Produced in Kent newsletter here. If you are based in Kent and run a food, drink or lifestyle business visit www.producedinkent.co.uk for more information about becoming a member.