Third annual cranberry cooking contest kicks off
By Hannah Rishel WarehamWeek Village Soup
The best original cranberry recipe of the year will soon be revealed.
The third annual "Make it Better with Cranberries" cooking contest — sponsored by the A.D. Makepeace Company, the Cape Cod Cranberry growers' Association, Trucchi's Supermarkets and "editbleSouthShore" magazine — began Saturday, Nov. 19 when entries were dropped off at Trucchi's Supermarket in Tauton or the Tihonet Village Market. Judges gathered at the Tihonet Village Market Saturday afternoon where they sampled and graded each of the entries, rating them on a scale from one to ten.
 
All the recipes submitted had to include at least one cranberry product. Entries were judged by about 15 taste testers on appearance, overall flavor, texture, creativity, easy of preparing and cranberry flavor. The submitted dishes ranged from breads to entrees, like chicken salad with cranberries, to a wide variety of desserts. Jams, salsas and even a cranberry barbecue sauce were also submitted.
 
Dee Vicino, who was serving her second year as a judge, said that she was never big on cranberries until the tasting last year, but now she's a fan.
"It's fun and interesting to see what people will do with [the cranberries]," she said, adding that she couldn't pick a particular favorite, but her top three favorites were an orange and cranberry scone, a cranberry rugelach (a type of Jewish pastry) and the cranberry barbecue sauce.
Kim Houdlette, manager of the A.D. Makepeace Company, said the entry turnout was just under 50 recipes, which is comparable to the past two contests.
 
Ann Trucchi Condon, CFO for Trucchi's Supermarkets, has not only worked in organizing the event with Houdlette for the past three years, but also helps judge the entries. She said she can't really remember a distinct favorite, but one dish in particular sticks out in her mind.
"Last year someone submitted cranberry empanadas," Condon said. She couldn't remember if the dish placed in the contest, but the creativity made it memorable to her.
 
First, second and third place winners will be selected for both the adult and youth (ages 8 to 16) categories sometime in the next week or so after the votes are tallied and research is done to prove that each of the recipes is original. Houdlette said that in the past they've had to disqualify some entries because they were copied from cookbooks.
 
First place winners will receive a $200 shopping spree at Trucchi's, second place winners will receive a $50 Tihonet Village Market gift certificate and third place adult winner will receive a one year subscription to "edibleSouthshore" magazine, while the third place youth winner will receive a $25 Visa gift card. Most of the submitted entries will be featured in the 2012 edition of the "Make it Better with Cranberries Cookbook" and the winning entries will be highlighted.