Herb grower lands top taste accolade

Herbs Unlimited managing director Alison Dodd collects the Taste Award.
Herbs Unlimited managing director Alison Dodd collects the Taste Award.

A Thirsk-based traditional and speciality herb grower has won the Best Fresh Produce category at this year’s Taste Awards.

Herbs Unlimited scooped the coveted award for its oxalis leaves.

The annual celebration, widely considered the pinnacle of Yorkshire’s thriving food and drink scene, is organised and run by the Yorkshire Post and regional food group deliciouslyorkshire.

The award was for Herbs Unlimited’s oxalis leaves which judges described as “visually spectacular with a subtle and very different flavour. It would grace the tables of any top restaurant in the land”.

Herbs Unlimited grows a wide range of herbs, edible flowers and baby salad on its 92-acre farm near Thirsk.

The company supplies the catering, hospitality, food processing and retail sectors.

It employs 45 permanent staff and has a £4m turnover.

Managing director Alison Dodd said: “I am delighted to have had our oxalis leaves recognised in this way.

“Oxalis is part of the wood sorrel family and has a fabulous variegated clover shaped leaf with vibrant pink flowers.

“The plant can be used in salads or chopped and sprinkled on fish to add a delicious citrus taste.

“We are passionate about the versatility of our speciality fresh herbs and edible flowers and hope to inspire food manufacturers and chefs to bring something new to their products and menus.

“Edible flowers are prized for their highly decorative qualities but also bring a wonderful flavour of their own to salads and wedding cakes and are extremely popular in cocktails.

“We have seen an increase in edible flowers year-on-year to – not only through wholesalers but also online through our shop for private parties and weddings.”