Bumblee’s Preserves a 2019 Top 20 Great Taste winner

Great Taste, the world’s most coveted food and drink awards, announced its stars of 2019, in August. Out of 12,772 products from over 100 different countries, only 208 were awarded the much craved 3 stars. 

Somerset’s own Francine Lee of Bumblee’s Preserves was one of them, making her Wild Blueberry, Pink Peppercorn & Thyme Vinegar/Shrub amongst the elite. The judges described it as “An exceptional & complex flavour combination”, “The flavour balance is excellent. It arouses all the taste buds & just keeps coming”. But it didn’t end there for Bumblee’s Preserves…… 

Bumblee's

Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers & retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with all products being completely blind tasted. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold Great Taste label signposts the most wonderful tasting products, discovered through many hours of judging. 

Francine Lee, Owner of Bumblee’s Preserves said: “Receiving a 3 star award is an amazing achievement for any artisan food producer. I have to say this vinegar is a favourite of mine, so I am thrilled that the judges also loved it & felt my product worthy of an award. The fact it’s a 3 stars was an enormous honour.” 

Great Taste 2019 reached its exciting finale on Sunday 1st September, when the world of fine food gathered at the InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, London for the Golden Fork Dinner. Bumblee’s Preserves was among the top 20 foods to be present, showcasing their award winner at a tasting. Their Wild Blueberry, Pink peppercorn & Thyme Shrub mocktail also featured as one of the arrival drinks for the 350 esteemed guests. 

Taunton based, Francine told us “The comments I received on the evening were humbling to say the least. For a small artisan producer this was a huge confidence builder & I am truly honoured to have been invited to take part & meet so many incredible food lovers.” 

Guests included the esteemed palates of cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, Kenny Tutt, MasterChef 2018 champion, author, Olia Hercules, food writer Alex Hollywood, to name a few, as well as food buyers from Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Sourced Market and Partridges. 

We asked Francine what her next move was, she laughed & said “I think it’ll take a good while to top this to be honest. My head is always full of different flavour ideas & I’ll be making lots of things in the kitchen ready for Christmas.” 

“One thing I’ve been planning for some time is to run courses on how to preserve the gluts of your garden. These courses will be great fun for groups of friends, or individuals looking to meet like minded people and learn a new skill. I adore spending time in my kitchen, well I’m just a big kid planning with her food & loving every minute, I’m sure others will enjoy it & I will relish showing them how.” 

Francine’s courses start in the New Year with Marmalade making on 6th & 15th February, other courses will follow, reflecting in season produce. 

A regular at Taunton Farmers’ Market every Thursday, Bumblee’s Preserves range can also be purchased via quality local outlets, via her website www.bumblees.co.uk & also on Amazon too.