MINNEAPOLIS -- The votes were cast and tallied and one baker rose above the rest -- Panne Provincio breads from Concept 2 Bakers, based here, won the Best of Show award from the American Tasting Institute, San Francisco. The artisan loaves were judged by a panel of executive chefs, based on taste, freshness and appearance.
"Taste is our principal criteria when judging foods in our competition," stated Jesse Sartain, national director of the ATI. "There are so many ill-tasting products in the marketplace, but we hope our award helps consumers find a better culinary experience."
The six winning varieties of Panne Provincio were Cranberry Walnut, Kalamata Olive Rosemary, Pain au Levain (Country French), Peasant Rye, Roasted Garlic Parisien and Sesame Semolina. The company also offers unique options such as Pane alla Cioccolata (Chocolate Bread), Black Bean and Salsa, and Fruit Medley.
"We make our bread in the European tradition, with all-natural ingredients, no preservatives and no added sugars or fats," said Bob Kulpinski, president of Concept 2.
The ATI honor comes with particular glory for Concept 2 as Panne Provincio is the only artisan bread worldwide to have ever won this award.
Part of the McGlynn family of bakeries, Concept 2 produces and markets frozen bakery products to food-service markets, retail bakeries and in-store bakeries nationwide, including Schnuck Markets, St. Louis; Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C.; and Raley's Supermarkets, West Sacramento, Calif.
Kulpinski added that some supermarket chains are carrying Concept 2 products, but selling them under a name other than Panne Provincio. He said stores such as Jewel Food Stores, Melrose Park, Ill.; Giant Food, Landover, Md.; and H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, may label the breads with the store name or in-store brand label.