DC State Fair 2014 - Pickled Foods Contest Entry Form

Welcome to the DC State Fair!

The DC State Fair will be held on Saturday, September 20, at the Old City Farm and Guild at 925 Rhode Island Ave NW, walking distance from the Shaw Metro. The tentative drop-off and judging schedule will be provided to entrants. Check www.dcstatefair.org/event-details for the most up-to-date information.

Please fill out the information below to enter the Pickled Foods Contest. The contest is open to District of Columbia residents 18 years of age and older. You may register up to two entries in the contest’s three subcategories: Cucumber Pickle, Other Vegetable Pickle, or Fruit Pickle.

The drop-off and judging schedule is available at http://dcstatefair.wordpress.com/event-details/. Please pick up your entry after judging if possible. We ask that winning entries be on display until the fair closing at 5 p.m., when they can be claimed if you agree to display your entry.

Entry forms for the Pickled Foods Contest must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Saturday, September 13. Due to logistical constrictions, registration will close early if 50 entries are registered before the deadline.

Exhibitors are expected to use tested recipes from research-based sources, such as the Ball Blue Book or the USDA's Complete Guide to Home Canning, to ensure that their safety has been validated. Entry forms must include the source of the recipe and the complete recipe, including the processing method and time, the type and amount of vinegar, and the size of the jar. Recipes will be available to the judges, with exhibitors’ names removed, at the fair.

You must bring one jar of pickles for your entry (Cucumber, Other Vegetable, or Fruit), up to two entries per person. (Please fill out an individual form for each entry.) Entries will be opened during judging and should not be eaten after the fair.

For safety reasons, please follow these rules or your entry will not be accepted:

1. Bring a full jar that has been properly processed and sealed according to accepted canning procedures found at these helpful websites: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp, http://www.freshpreserving.com

2. All entries must be exhibited in clear glass, standard home-canning jars in half-pint (8 oz.), pint (16 oz) or quart (32 oz.) size. Products in fluted or blue-tinted jars will not be accepted. Use self-sealing jars only with two-piece metal canning lids (flat lid and band).

3. The lid (not the glass) must be labeled with the product name and the date processed. Do NOT place your name on the entry.

4. All jars must be clean and have lids and bands free from mold and rust.

5. All entries must have been processed after September 28, 2013. (No entries should have been canned prior to September 28, 2013.)

6. All entries must be shelf-stable. Entries preserved in alcohol, entries that require refrigeration, fermented foods, unsealed jars, entries canned with paraffin, and entries that show signs of spoilage will not be accepted.

If you have questions about the contest rules, or need to arrange early drop-off of your entry, send an email to waysav@gmail.com with “Pickled Foods Contest” in the subject line. Please include your telephone number in your email.

Thanks for entering!

Judges at the DC State Fair’s Pickled Foods Contest will follow the current safety recommendation of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and rate entries on characteristics other than taste. The following scoring method will be used:

Container (10 points): Lid neatly labeled with name of product and processing date. Vacuum-sealed. Clean, clear glass standard home-canning jar of appropriate size for product and process. Matching lid and band, clean and free of rust. Band unbent and easily removed.

Pack (30 points): Jar filled to appropriate headspace (1/2 inch). Proper balance of solids and liquids, neatly packed. Liquid covers all solids. No floating pieces. Food pieces evenly distributed throughout jar. No vertical or horizontal layering (“fancy pack”). Spices and seasonings attractive in pack.

Liquid (20 points): Clear with no unnatural cloudiness. Free of bubbles, sediment, mold, and foreign matter (stems, cores etc.).

Color (20 points): Even color characteristic of cooked product. No artificial coloring except for a few specialty cucumber or apple-ring pickles. Color and translucency uniform throughout the jar. Free of discoloration or blemishes on food pieces.

Texture/Consistency (20 points): Pieces appear plump, not shriveled or shrunken. No internal holes in pickles. Firm for pickles. Softer for some relishes and chutneys. Food pieces evenly sliced or chopped attractively, not too fine in relishes. Pleasing aroma appropriate for product; no indication of spoilage. Spices and seasonings not overwhelming.

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    Entry fees?

    Thanks to the generous support of the DC State Fair community through our Kickstarter campaign, there will be no contest entry fees this year! However, we always welcome donations at the DC State Fair PayPal page (http://www.dcstatefair.org/entryfee) and at the Fair. Hit submit to make your entry. Thank you for participating in DC State Fair!