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The Best of the Best: The 2017 Good Food Awards

Photo: Steve Lee / Getty

From dark chocolate to pâté to savory jams, the 2017 Good Food Awards is full of the artisan treats you need to eat.

With artisan foods an ever growing industry, it can sometimes be overwhelming with the amount of options. That's where the Good Food Awards comes in to make things easier. The organization awards outstanding American food artisans for craftsmanship and sustainability.

The winners of the 2017 Good Food Awards were recently announced, prompting us to notice some fun food trends in several categories.

Charcuterie

Liver seemed to be the overwhelming stand out in the charcuterie (prepared meats) category. Classics like Hudson & Charles' Chicken Liver Pâté were present, along with more decadent products such as The Local Butcher Shop's Pork Liver Mousse.

Chocolate

Dark chocolate, along with all of its health benefits, is here to stay. The majority of winners in this sweet category featured a high cocoa percentage, usually around 70 percent or above. Treats like Charm School Chocolate's 70% Dark Belize or Creo Chocolate's Minty Dark 73% are the perfect indulgence. 

Coffee

Although many regions in the world produce coffee, Ethiopia was the dominating winner for this category. The key to Ethiopian coffee's popularity is its diversity. Due to the type of coffee and how it's processed flavors can range from sweet and fruity, like in Kickapoo Coffee Roasters' Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Charbanta, to delicate and floral flavors in coffees similar to Red Rooster Coffee Roaster's Washed Hambela. 

Confections

Probably the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of sweets is "veggies." But that's just what several winners in the confections category contained. Batch PDX had two unique winners with their Candy Cap Mushroom Truffle and Ghost Pepper Truffle. They weren't the only ones to shake up the category though, Theo Chocolate also contributed a game changer with their Walla Walla Sweet Onion Caramel.

Pickles & Preserves

These two categories, pickles and preserves, had a common theme amongst them: sweet and savory. We all know that savory jams are on the rise, but several winners have proved that this trend is here to stay. Bow Hill Blueberries' fruit gets a tangy twist with their winning Heirloom Pickled Blueberries, while Red Hen Cannery kept it on trend with their Heirloom Tomato Spice Jam.