South Shropshire News
2015 Marmalade Awards
9th March 2015
The World Marmalade Festival takes place at the Dalemain Mansion, Penrith, Cumbria and sees entries from all over the world. Over 2000 marmalade makers sent in their jars to be judged, a 20 per cent increase on last year, proving that recent concerns over the demise of marmalade are completely unfounded. The marmalade team at Ludlow Food Centre exceeded expectation by winning a gold award, three silver awards and two bronze awards meaning they won an award with every variety they entered.
Food Centre producers Darren Marsh and Tess Slater have won awards every year since 2009 proving they make some of the best commercially available marmalade in the world. They make 6 varieties of marmalade and this year won a gold award for their Hand Cut Seville Orange Marmalade. In addition they picked up three sliver awards for their Medium Cut, Lemon & Lime and Whisky varieties whilst the bronze awards were for their Lady Windsor and Three Fruit varieties. Commenting on their success Darren said,
‘We never expected to become known for making marmalade but over the years we have built up quite a reputation. It is always nice to get recognition for the work we do and we are really proud to have won awards against such tough competition. To win with every variety is an achievement we will cherish’
Darren and Tess met whilst working at Tesco in Ludlow and applied for jobs working on the Food Centre’s delicatessen. Their interest in food production was rewarded with a place in the Centre’s jam and pickle kitchen where they were trained to make over 30 varieties of preserves. Where possible they use local ingredients from Shropshire and its surrounding counties but for marmalade they go a step further, (Darren explains)
‘We actually source our Seville Oranges from a single cooperative in Spain. We know the growers and we know their quality and attention to detail is paramount. We certainly have our own way of making marmalade but the quality of the raw ingredients is crucial in the process.’
For their efforts the duo have had their marmalade accepted in to London specialist food store, Fortnum and Mason. Fortnum’s have stocked a wide variety of Food Centre marmalade since they won their first award six years ago. Darren says,
‘This year we have made 10,085 jars of marmalade by hand over in seven weeks so we are looking forward to working with something other than Seville oranges in the weeks to come!