Remember the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka has a whole department dedicated to trying to make orange jam without it turning into marmalade? But even the Roald Dahl-invented genius never imagined a world championship dedicated to Paddington’s favourite sandwich filling.
Now in its 13th year, the World’s Original Marmalade Awards saw record number of entries from all over the world – with judges working their way through 3,000 artisan jars of the breakfast condiment from more than 30 countries worldwide and the winner was Cornwall’s own Janice Miners. Her Best in Show was a Grapefruit and Gin marmalade. Her zesty, fresh flavours wowed the judges and she shot straight to the top, despite this being the first time she had entered the competition.
Her homemade marmalade will now be produced by Thursday Cottage and sold at Fortnum & Mason in their prestigious Piccadilly store, with 50p from each jar going to Hospice at Home Carlisle & the North West. ‘I have entered local competitions before but nothing as wide ranging and with so many entries as this, so I thought I would have a go,’ she says. ‘I chose gin which I thought would enhance the flavour of the grapefruit – sharp but not bitter, when you spread it on your toast in the morning, it’s one of those tastes that makes you think about the flavour.
‘I feel very honoured to have won as there was an amazing array of marmalades on show, and some really different combinations. The prize of having my marmalade made and sold at Fortnum & Masons, what an honour, it’s something that I will never forget.’
Not just suited to your morning toast points, Janice recommends trying her world champion marmalade with artisan sausages for a kick.
The 2018 Awards, held in Dalemain Mansion in the Lake District, are a celebration of quirkiness and individuality in marmalade making. Other winners came from as far as Dalemain from Japan. Malta, Canada and Australia. And if you can’t pop down to Fortnum & Mason for a pot, Janice currently sells her preserves in the local shop at the Miner’s Arms in Mithian.