South Shropshire News
Ludlow Food Centre produce Best Marmalade Producer in the World
28th February 2012
A South Shropshire food producer has cemented its place as the best marmalade producer in the world. The World Marmalade Festival takes place at the Dalemain Mansion, Penrith, Cumbria and sees entrees from all over the world. Over 1,700 marmalade makers sent in their jars to be judged, a 30 per cent increase on last year, proving that recent concerns over the demise of marmalade are completely unfounded. The team at Ludlow Food Centre have won Gold Awards for the last three years and this year picked up two more gold awards for their efforts.
Darren Marsh and Tess Slater have won more marmalade awards than any other artisan producer proving they make the best commercially available marmalade in the world. They make 6 varieties of marmalade and all have won at least one World Marmalade Award. This year it was gold for their Hand Cut Seville Orange Marmalade and gold for their Lady Windsor’s Rich Seville which is made to an old family recipe. 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.’
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 stocked in London specialist food store, Fortnum and Mason. They have held the honour for two years and Fortnum’s have extended it for another year due to demand for the product.