Published on 02/18/14

Judges choose 35 Flavor of Georgia finalists

By Merritt Melancon

Judges have selected 35 products to compete in the final round of the 2014 University of Georgia Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest on March 17-18 at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta.

The Flavor of Georgia contest is a chance for food businesses to highlight their new products and receive feedback from a panel of food industry professionals.

The 35 finalists were selected from a field of more than 120 products in 12 categories, one of the largest fields in the contest’s history.

Finalists will bring their products to the final round of judging on March 17-18 as part of the Governor’s annual Agriculture Awareness Week held across the street from the Georgia state Capitol.

“Food entrepreneurs from every corner of the state submitted delicious and innovative Georgia products this year,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator.

“From the onion fields in South Georgia to in-town Atlanta, we received products that show off the best that the state has offer.”

Kane, a food business development specialist, and her colleagues at the Center for Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, have organized the annual contest since 2007.

Judges for this year’s final round of the Flavor of Georgia contest include food brokers, buyers, chefs and other food industry experts. They judge each entry on commercial appeal, use of local Georgia ingredients, Georgia theme, taste, innovation and potential market volume in each category.

This year’s finalists include:

In the dairy category:

  • Applewood Smoked Gouda; Udderly Cool Dairy; Roopville
  • Bourbon Pecan Gelato; Honeysuckle Gelato; Atlanta
  • Georgia Gold Clothbound Cheddar Cheese; Nature’s Harmony Farm; Elberton

In the snacks category:

  • Take and Bake Cheese Wafers; Jo’s Original Cheddar Pecan; Cheese Louise!; Alpharetta
  • Georgia Blues Bar; M Chocolat; Alpharetta
  • Spent Grain with Rosemary Vegan Spelt Crackers; Earth Biscuit Foods; Atlanta

In the confections category:

  • JudiCakes Cream Cheese Poundcake Caramel Sea Salt; JudiCakes; Atlanta
  • Peachy Keen Pecan Praline; Loose Sugar; Harrison
  • Tybee Turtle French Macaron; Maison de Macarons; Savannah

In the jams and jellies category:

  • Cinnamon Honey Spread Company; Weeks Farm; Omega
  • Raspberry Jalapeno Jam; Leoci’s; Savannah
  • The European Wine Table Gourmet Wine Gelee, Bordeaux Rouge; TEWT Gourmet LLC; Alpharetta

In the marinades and sauces category:

  • Balsamico alle Ciliegie; A&A Alta Cucina Italia; Johns Creek
  • GA Mustard Marinade; Q Sauce LLC; Dacula
  • Whiskey Marinade; Foy’s; Columbus

In the barbecue and hot sauce category:

  • Causey’s Sweet’N Smoky BBQ Sauce; Causey’s Foods Inc.; Smyrna
  • DAVIS’ 1929 Sauce; Davis Sauces LLC; Peachtree City
  • Dirt Road Barbeque Sauce; Dirt Road Sauce; Athens
  • Richard’s South Georgia Style Mustard BBQ Sauce; Richard’s; Homerville

In the meat and seafood category:

  • Apple Wood Smoked GA Trout; Diana’s Specialties; Marietta
  • Leoci’s Handcrafted Cured Duck Prosciutto; Leoci’s; Savannah
  • Beef Ribeye; Brush Creek Farm; Colbert
  • Vidalia Onion Sausage; Ogeechee Meat Market; Savannah

In the condiments category:

  • Bell’s Bloody Hot English Mustard; Q’Bella; Alpharetta
  • Sweet Onion Confit; Preserving Place; Atlanta
  • Sweet and Tangy Tomato Chutney; Souvei LLC; Atlanta

In the beverage category:

  • Organic Blueberry Juice; Byne Blueberry Farms; Waynesboro
  • Southern Sweet Tea; Just Add Honey Tea Company; Tucker
  • White Hills Farm Lavender Calamint Rooibos Tisane; White Hills Farm; Dearing

In the adult beverages category:

  • Richland Rum; Richland Distilling; Richland
  • Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout; Terrapin Beer Co.; Athens

In the miscellaneous category:

  • Garlic & Herb Chicken Brine Company; Fire & Flavor; Bogart
  • King Louie Corn Medley Seasoning; King Louie Special Blend Seasoning; Fitzgerald
  • Oliver Farm Artisan Oils Pecan Oil; Oliver Oil Co.; Pitts
  • Southern Sriracha Boiled Peanut Rub; Hardy Peanuts Inc.; Hawkinsville

Winners will receive a plaque presented by Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, a membership in Georgia Grown and bragging rights. All finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2014 Flavor of Georgia logo. They also gain exposure to grocery buyers and food industry professionals who judge the final round of the contest.

All of the 2014 Flavor of Georgia entries will be featured in the Flavor of Georgia Product Directory. More information about the contest is available at

The Flavor of Georgia food product contest is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, Office of Gov. Nathan Deal, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Agribusiness Council and the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology.

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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