The Gracious Gourmet in Bridgewater was recently presented five awards in three categories during the Connecticut Specialty Food Association's 12th product awards competition.

The local business's winning products were black olive tapenade (first place), artichoke parmesan tapenade, rosemary pear spread and hatch chile pesto (second place) and fig almond spread (third place).

"Our black olive tapenade and hatch chile pesto are both new product entries this year for The Gracious Gourmet," said founder Nancy Wekselbaum.

"We've gotten great feedback on these uniquely American twists on European favorites," she said. "We are very proud that the judges recognized the newcomers. Our fig almond spread, artichoke parmesan tapenade and rosemary pear spread have been strong sellers for years."

A total of 184 specialty food items from Connecticut-based manufacturers were entered in 35 categories.

A panel of 20 judges consisting of local media personalities, food writers, chefs from the state Department of Agriculture's farm-to-chef program and wine specialists scored products on overall taste/flavor, texture, aroma, and appearance/color.

Each judge was assigned to specific categories, responsible for evaluating an average of approximately 30 different products.

The Gracious Gourmet has won awards from the CFSA every year since 2007.