Kiwi kids shoulder burden of national ice cream judging

It's fair to say Kiwis are an ice cream loving bunch. We're second only to Australia in global consumption of the stuff; every year on average each of us manages to work through around 23 litres. 

This means we take the judging of each new addition very seriously, and this year's 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards was no different. The judging attracted over 300 entries, from the very boutique to large New Zealand ice cream manufacturers across the country, all tasted by a crack team of judges in the name of science. 

Of the 13 award categories, each year one of the most eagerly anticipated awards is the 'Kid's Choice' award, as who loves ice cream more than kids? Last week a group of VIP guest judges from a local YMCA school holiday programme crammed into the boardroom at Auckland's Food Bowl, to test 15 flavours. 

Chief ice cream judge, Kay McMath told Newshub they want the kids to give their "honest assessment" when asking the tough questions. 

"Is this a good flavour?, Does it look good? Will I enjoy eating it? So they all get it in a clinical, white cup that's got a number on it and they have to judge.

"The scores are generally zero to hero, they're such honest consumers."

While the official judging had entries scored on appearance, body and texture and flavour, the kids judging was "appropriately simplified" - a score of one to five, ranging from 'really yuck', to 'really yum'. 

Flavours being judged included caramel ice cream with fudge pieces and caramel ripple, rocky road gelato, vanilla and chocolate cookies, and what seemed to be the crowd favourite - chocolate gelato with marshmallow topping and mini chocolate fish. 

Others weren't such a crowd-pleaser: An orange ice cream was dubbed "orange chapstick from the $2 shop" by one judge, and "really yuck" by another. 

The awards will ultimately be announced during NZ Ice Cream Week (11-17 November).

Watch the full video to see the judging ensue.