The results of this year’s Marmalade Awards in Cumbria prove that far from going out of fashion, quality marmalade is loved not only in Britain but around the world, where is fast becoming an international obsession. With record numbers of Artisan entries and over 30 countries sending in their jars, 2017 has been another triumphant year for marmalade.
The Best In Show for 2017 proved that despite almost 2,000 homemade entries Scotland are still at the top of the marmalade making game, with Angus’ Shona Leckie scooping the coveted prize for the best homemade marmalade. Her treacle marmalade was entered in sponsor Tate & Lyle’s quirky ‘Marmalade with a Twist’ category, and will be produced and sold by Fortnum & Mason, with 50p from each jar going to charity.
Shona said: “As a farmer’s daughter, I have been making marmalade and jam for a number of years, and have had a degree of success in local competitions. When I heard about the Marmalade Festival at Dalemain, I saw it as an opportunity to see how my marmalade would be judged against a much wider range of marmalades from different areas and countries. I won a silver award in my first attempt at Dalemain, and a gold award in the following year – which was very pleasing.
But I did not expect ever to be declared the overall winner. The class which I entered required innovation so I adjusted a family recipe to intensify the flavour of orange yet retain the soft texture of the peel. So I am surprised, delighted, honoured and really quite taken aback by this unexpected accolade!”
Longstanding Awards patron Mackays of Dundee were delighted to present a new accolade, the ‘Mackays Award for Artisan Excellence’, to the small producer who demonstrated the highest quality of production, presentation and manufacturing. This was awarded to the Proper Marmalade Company.
Martin Grant, MD of Mackays said: “Well done to all the winners of this year’s World Marmalade Awards 2017. It’s been another successful year of marmalade making which Mackays is so proud to be a part of yet again. I would like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate Victoria Cranfield of the Proper Marmalade Company, the first winner of the ‘Mackays Award for Artisan Excellence’. You really have set the bar high for future contestants.”
The Artisan marmalade competition is where international entrants shone this year, with the Double Gold Award for the best traditional marmalade scooped by Australian Dr Lachlan Shackleton-Fergus, whose company is one of the oldest family marmalade making businesses in the world. Both he and Double Gold winner Jozefina Ruzickova of Rose Garden, from the Czech Republic, have made the journey to Dalemain for the Awards & Festival, as have Gold winners from Canada, the USA, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.
The number of Japanese entrants has been so huge in 2017 that the Japanese Ambassador was invited to the festival as the guest of honour. He was delighted to attend and taste the many Japanese entries ahead of plans for a Dalemain sister festival of Marmalade in Japan. Top dessert chef and Award winner Hideko Kawa added to the Japanese celebrations with special lectures about the Japanese Yuzu fruit and the art of chocolate preserve making, assisted by patron and food writer Dan Lepard.
With Cumbria proving the heart of the marmalade making world, Dalemain and Penrith were delighted to welcome marmalade makers from as far afield as Lebanon and Columbia, with Spanish marmalade producers Lorusso Foods even taking up a stand in Penrith to sell their award winning wares. There they rubbed shoulders with musicians, tango dancers, storytellers and more as the whole town ‘went orange’ with great zest!
Not only were the marmalade origins exotic, but 2017 entrants offered more exciting flavours than ever before. Double Gold winner Ouse Valley Foods triumphed with a punchy orange and fennel preserve, while Devon’s Café Alf Resco scooped eviivo’s prize for the best marmalade made to go with a traditional cooked breakfast with their ‘Dark & Stormy’ marmalade, a fresh tasting product with hints of lime, ginger and rum.
The Hotel, Restaurant and B&B category has proven incredibly exciting, with new sponsors eviivo and the Caterer magazine providing exciting new incentives, and Café Alf Resco, Clavelshay Barn Restaurant and Mrs Berry B&B all scooped coveted Double Gold Awards.
Jane Hasell-McCosh, founder of the Awards, said: “It has been wonderful to see how people’s love of marmalade has created a passionate community all around the world. It has been a great honour and joy to welcome so many marmalade makers to my home in Cumbria in celebration of such a well loved preserve, and great fun to see the team at ‘Penrith Goes Orange’ taking the festival to another level with such an innovative and exciting family day out.”
The Awards are sponsored by Mackays of Dundee, Tate & Lyle and Fortnum & Mason, and are proud to raise money for palliative care around the world. This year’s key beneficiaries include Hospice at Home Carlisle & North Lakes and Marie Curie Scotland, and to date the Awards have raised well over £200,000 for charity.
Full list of 2017 Homemade Winners:
Mackays Seville Orange Marmalade: Brionie Sumner (UK)
Any Citrus Marmalade: Jennifer Fletcher & Veda Karlo (UK & USA)
Tate & Lyle Marmalade with a Twist: Shona Leckie (UK)
Children’s Marmalade: Sam & Alex Hunt, Kiddiwinks Nursery (UK)
Tate & Lyle First Timers: Lauren Ware (UK)
Dark & Chunky Marmalade: Angela Hickman (UK)
Mackays International & Commonwealth Marmalade: Amira Beadsmoore (New Zealand)
Mister Marmalade: Adrian Young (Australia)
Gardener’s Marmalade: Jo Aldhouse (UK)
Merry Marmalade: Jonathan Hamel-Cooke (UK)
Campanologist’s Marmalade: Val Charles (UK)
Octogenarians & Upward Marmalade: Tom Alty (UK)
The Establishment’ Marmalade: Roger Bingham (UK)
Marmalade Macnab: Veda Karlo (New Zealand)