Last weekend we headed off on a mini adventure to Penrith, Cumbria. Why Cumbria when it’s still so wet and cold I hear you ask! Well, it’s where The World’s Original Marmalade Awards are held each year. The event is organised by Jane Hasell McCosh and held at Dalemain House, a beautiful Georgian stately home lived in by Jane’s family for over 300 years.
The awards, which have been quietly gathering momentum across the globe for the last decade, attracted nearly 3000 entries this year from all over the World, including Japan, Australia and South Africa. The judges for the Artisan category were a prestigious panel of food industry experts, including Dan Lepard (food writer), Pam Corbin (preserving expert and writer of River Cottage – Preserves) and Tanya McMullen (buyer at Fortnum & Mason).
We were invited to a special artisan gold winners awards presentation on the Friday evening. The library and adjoining rooms had been transformed into a marmalade paradise with literally thousands of jars on display. Clutching a glass of champagne and nibbling on canapés we mingled with other artisan preservers and then the awards were announced……..we’d only gone and scooped three Golds, three Silvers and one Bronze! Our Gold awards were for Lemon, Dartmoor Honey & Ginger Marmalade. Pink Exmoor Gin Marmalade and Seville Orange & Dartmoor Honey Marmalade . I was particularly pleased that the gold winners all recognised other local producers, like Peter Hunt’s Dartmoor Honey and Exmoor Wicked Wolf Gin.
We travelled back home the next day with big grins on our faces, feeling very proud and victorious for Devon.