© Steve Barber/Ullswater ‘Steamers’
His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, on his visit to Ullswater Steamers in Cumbria on Monday 26th March tasted the winning marmalade and Jane Hasell-McCosh, founder of the World Marmalade Awards, announced it as the winner. His Royal Highness thought it was delicious.
India’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, congratulated the winner. “On behalf of India and the High Commissioner we want to express our admiration and pride to Victoria Singh, the town of Kota and the State of Rajasthan for producing in a marmalade a truth we have always shared: that India’s exceptional climate and agriculture produces superb fruit and naturally enhances whatever you make with it. We look forward to trying it on our breakfast toast very soon.”
Richard Burge, chief executive of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, described India’s winning entry as “a marmalade so utterly vibrant that it transports you to India and celebrates just what finesse can be achieved with simple locally-grown ingredients”.
“We believe”, says Mr Burge, “that within our seven Commonwealth 2018 World’s Original Marmalade Awards finalists – Canada, Botswana, Kenya, India, the Bahamas, Australia and the UK – we have a strong example of the extraordinary and diverse range of skills, ingredients and styles that make up the preserving talent seen in today’s Commonwealth. Our judges were especially impressed by the vibrancy of the entries using remarkable combinations of ingredients and flavours, typifying the varied approaches and tastes in the Commonwealth.”
The Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman, who judged with the panel, felt strongly that with India’s entry “we have a marmalade that is so memorable and bold that you delight in how the flavour stays with you, beyond toast and butter: there’s a beautiful bright citrus flavour to make you smile as you leave the breakfast table.”
Head judge and food writer Dan Lepard was impressed too. “India’s marmalade has such a sharp bright zing and boldness that I’d be happy to eat it three times a day, from the first crumpet through to a late-night dessert. We always look for how the key fruit is represented in a preserve, and Victoria Singh has captured the aroma and acidity perfectly in her marmalade. The added flavour of fresh ginger juice and the canny addition of a little Himalayan rock salt added harmony without overwhelming the fruit.”
Award winning pastry chef and judge Will Torrent agreed. “We were hoping to find a Commonwealth winner that celebrated all that we love about the best marmalade and the regions of the world where the ingredients are grown. In Britain today, our ingredients for marmalade making come from around the world. So it’s incredibly exciting to have a winner where all the ingredients are grown in their own country, and it makes me utterly excited to visit India.”
This is the first year of the WOMA’s Commonwealth Category, inspired because most of the 3000 entries received come from countries within the Commonwealth and also import ingredients – whether that’s raw sugar from Barbados, lemons and limes from India, whisky from Scotland, rum from the West Indies – and use that to make marmalade from. From a shortlist of 50 entries just 13 were chosen as finalists, with seven awarded highly commended and best from their country.
Seville Orange Marmalade with Wild Cranberries, by Elizabeth Pugh “A perfectly balanced flavour that tasted of true bitter oranges while adding a deep purple-red colour and sharpness, utterly delicious”
Orange, Pear & Apple Marmalade, by Christine Manning “Excellent balanced flavours, difficult to achieve when such subtle fruits are used but in this preserve you can taste the orange, pear and apple flavours clearly. Well done.”
Tomato, Lemon and Ginger Marmalade, by David Myles “This marmalade totally shook the judges and opened their eyes to what a savoury marmalade could be. Though the colour was a deep crimson the flavour was undoubtedly lemon marmalade offset by the pepperiness of the tomato and the kick from the ginger. Perfect with strong-flavoured savoury dishes, though perhaps not for the morning toast”
Seville Orange Marmalade with Sweet Onions, by Linda & John Sands “Great idea for a savoury marmalade as the combination of oranges and onions makes for a great pickle-style marmalade accompaniment. Can imagine it pairing very well with roast chicken or vintage cheddar”.
Child of the Moon Marmalade, and Kalahari Sands Marmalade, both by Maungo Craft Jams “Rare and exceptional ingredients, with baobab fruit, sandpaper raisins, marula fruit and liquorice root used in the preserves provide an exciting burst of extra flavour, and with another Botswana speciality there are flecks of real gold through the marmalade made with locally grown citrus fruit. Truly remarkable.”
Orange, Ginger & Coriander Marmalade; and Lemon & Lavender Marmalade, by Jars of Goodness. “Fresh flavours were the keynotes in these impressive marmalades, with spices like coriander providing an unusual but excellent companion to the orange and ginger. Definitely a talented preserve maker to watch for the future.”
Orange & Ginger Marmalade made by Victoria Singh “A marmalade that is so memorable and bold that you delight in how the flavour stays with you, beyond toast and butter: there’s a beautiful bright citrus flavour to make you smile as you leave the breakfast table.”
South Island Peat Whisky Seville Marmalade, by Amira Beadsmoore “A beautifully set traditional Seville marmalade with a bold flavour from the whiskey, just what the judges were hoping to find. Whiskey is a popular addition but it’s rare to find it well represented, and in this marmalade the balance was perfect.”
Cumquat Marmalade, by Janet Macdonald “A perfect example of the fruit simply captured in the preserve, with a delicate sweetness that supported the subtle but distinctive fruit flavour. Excellent set and colour too.”
Luxury Lime Marmalade, by Dr Lachlan Shackleton-Fergus “A remarkable preserve where the punch and brilliance of lime was upfront and proud. You could imagine eating it well beyond the confines of the breakfast table and imagine it favouring evening from desserts to evening cocktails.”
Tangelo & Seville, by Reuben Kooperman “The elusive sweet tangelo flavour was captured and heightened in this impressive jelly-set marmalade, with a rich orange colour and tender beautifully cooked peel. A joy to eat.”