Top prizes for unusual flavours at this year's World Marmalade Awards and Festival

The Westmorland Gazette: WINNING JAR: Sarah Byrne with organiser of the World Marmalade Awards and Festival, Jane Hasell-McCosh WINNING JAR: Sarah Byrne with organiser of the World Marmalade Awards and Festival, Jane Hasell-McCosh

THE next generation of marmalade lovers wowed with their unusual creations at the ninth World’s Original Marmalade Awards and Festival.

Beer, honey, chocolate, yellow mustard seed and even seaweed all featured in the 2,000 jars of marmalade entered into the annual event at Dalemain Mansion, near Penrith, over the weekend.

But the top spot, for best homemade marmalade, was awarded to 70-year-old Sarah Byrne, who used beer from her small family brewery in her ‘Seville Orange Marmalade with Beer’ concoction.

To create the winning product, which will now be stocked on the shelves of Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly, she added two pints of Larkins Half and Half to her grandmother’s traditional recipe.

Mrs Byrne, from Chiddingstone, Kent, said: “I’m delighted to have won this award, particularly as this is the first time I’ve made marmalade with beer. It’s also a fantastic link to our family heritage.”

Three artisan producers were awarded double gold gongs and will also see their winning recipes stocked in the prestigious London store.

These included Mark and Alison Pennington’s ‘Yorkshire Wold Bees Lemon and Honey Marmalade’, and two from the Bokumjari Co. Ltd in South Korea.

Other interesting flavours which took gold at the awards included lemon and vodka, blood orange and black pepper, ginger chilli and Indian spice and clementine and lavender.

Organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh said: “We’ve been surprised and delighted not only by the sheer number of entries into this year’s competition – which exceeds last year – but also by the range of interesting and sometimes downright unusual ingredients that you wouldn’t normally associate with marmalade.

“I believe this reflects the resurgence in popularity in marmalade designed to satisfy modern taste buds. Whilst everyone appreciates a good, traditional Seville orange marmalade, our broadening food repertoire is leading us to create a plethora of new marmalade flavours for future generations to enjoy. Long live marmalade in whatever form!”

As well as seeing an increase in unusual ingredients, the 2014 awards also witnessed a big leap in novice and children’s entries, and saw jars delivered from as far afield as Australia, the Phillipines, South Africa, Japan and South Korea.

For more details of winners visit www.marmaladeawards.com

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