Now you too can join in the 3rd Annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest.

By Larry Blagg

In announcing its third annual event, the California Raisin Marketing Board (CRMB) has expanded the categories of artisan and commercial breads to now include rolls, pastries, scones, coffee cakes and any other breakfast breads containing raisins that you can imagine or that are already selling.

So if your shop or company has a terrific-looking and great-tasting raisin cinnamon roll or raisin scone, now you can stand up and tell the world all about it by entering America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest

After talking with dozens of bakery owners at the Retail Bakers of America event in Charlotte, N.C., and to members of the New York, Atlantic City, and Chicago area associations, it was made clear that more bakeries would join the contest with the creation of a breakfast breads category for those operators who do not bake bread as part of their product line-ups.

So we huddled with our judges and talked at length about how to be more inclusive, but still keep the original look and feel of the contest. We also wanted to be mindful that this contest was created to reward the working bakers for their skills. It was agreed that trying to jam 50% raisins to dry flour weight, as is the legal requirement for raisin bread, would be overkill on the part of the raisin industry. Together with the judges, it was agreed that a minimum of 25% raisins to dry flour weight would work quite well in breakfast breads.

To promote the upcoming contest, CRMB’s Genaro Gonzales and ABRBC contest judge Dominique Homo attended the American Society of Baking’s annual technical conference in March in Chicago, where they answered questions and provided potential contestants with entry forms.

Also in March, senior judge Theresa Cogswell was scheduled to attend the American Bakers Association’s Board of Governors meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., where she distributed entry forms and contest information to share with all members.

In addition to recruiting contestants for this year’s contest, the CRMB has a glossy formula book of winners from the ABRBC’s 2nd Annual Contest. We hope you will be as excited about the quality of the winning entries as we were during the final judging last fall.

Copies of both the contest application and the formula book also are available online at

Applications are to be forwarded to Theresa Cogswell at Bakercogs, Inc. 14740 W. 159th Street, Suite 100, Olathe, Kan. 66062, filed electronically at or faxed to 913-782-4713.

Editor’s Note: Larry Blagg is senior vice president of marketing for the California Raisin Marketing Board, Fresno, Calif. Go to for more information and to register for the America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest.