Australia’s best marmalades have been recognised today in the second annual Australian Festival of Marmalade at Renmark in South Australia, heart of the nation’s citrus industry.

More than 200 entries were received from across Australia and as far as Europe, with separate competitions for home-made and artisan (small commercial) marmalades. “Once again, the response from Australia’s marmalade makers has been fantastic,” said Dr Darren Peacock, CEO of the National Trust of South Australia, organisers of the awards and festival.

Mrs McCosh in AustraliaJane Hasell-McCosh, founder of the World’s Original Marmalade Awards in the United Kingdom, officiated at judging of entries in Adelaide this week and presented the major awards at Renmark.

“I have had a remarkable time judging,” she said. “The standard is as good if not better than last year’s competition and the two double gold award winners are well deserved.  Australian marmalade has really come of age.  We will be watching with interest in the UK to see how these awards develop and very much hope that this year’s Australian winners will consider entering the International competition.

The overall champion double gold award in the artisan competition was won by George Sharp of Tarra Valley Foods in Gippsland, Victoria for their Grapefruit marmalade.  Tarra Valley Foods trumped the competition with a haul of four gold awards from a total of nine awarded.  Fellow Gippslanders Cunliffe and Waters also excelled with three gold awards.  Ugly Duck Preserves from Brisbane and Larder and Spade from Victoria took out one gold award each.

The home-made competition was won by Marika Freeman of Kensington Park in Adelaide, for an orange marmalade in the Gardener’s category for those using home-grown fruit.  Another seven gold awards were made in the home-made competition, including three in the Mr Marmalade section, showing that men too can also make a mean marmalade. Reuben Kooperman, from Western Australia taking out two gold awards.  In the marmalade with a twist category, gold was awarded for marmalades incorporating whisky and tequila.

All gold medal winners in the Australian awards will receive free entry to the international competition in the UK next March. This year’s Australian champion marmalades will have the opportunity to be produced in a limited commercial run by iconic South Australian producer Beerenberg Farms.

This year’s Festival of Marmalade at Olivewood Homestead in Renmark included a  program of live music, food, talks, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and the announcement of this year’s award winners.  More than 50 artisan marmalades entered in the awards were available for tasting alongside a display of the entries in the homemade competition.