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Award-Winning Preserves: What it Takes to Achieve Great Taste and World Marmalade Awards

Did you know that our handcrafted fruit preserves and marmalades have won awards? Creating handmade preserves is a culinary and traditional art form, so seeing our produce receive such honours is always so incredibly humbling and of course, exciting!

However, we understand that for some, the term ‘award-winning’ may not mean much if you are not aware of these prestigious food awards. So, in this blog, we want to share with you, our cherished customers and readers, what it means to be a Great Taste Award Winner and a World Marmalade Awards Champion. 

Quality Recognition: Great Taste Awards Winner 

It all started in 1993 when the Guild Of Fine Food Retailers was first established following a notable decline in independent fine foods shops and specialty food and drink producers. 

Then, in 1994, the Great Taste Award was born! For over 25 years, thousands of artisanal food and drink producers have put their products to the test and submitted them for judging. All of this is done in the hope of winning Great Taste stars. 

From specialty cheeses, to sardines, to spirits, to handmade jams and marmalades, there is always a vast range of food and drink products submitted, and including – new for 2023 – plant-based alternatives and low/no alcohol. 

Judging With Integrity 

Recognised as a stamp of excellence and often actively sought out by food lovers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else. All products entered are blind-tasted: every product is removed from its packaging so it cannot be identified before entering a robust, layered judging process.

In 2022, there were 14,205 entries in total, and just 5,556 of those (39.1% of the entries) received an award.

🌟 1 star: 4,078 products
🌟🌟 2 stars: 1,237 products
🌟🌟🌟 3 stars: 241 products

Since early March this year, more than 500 food and drink experts sniffed, sipped and ate entries in London and Dorset for 89 judging days. Between them, they blind tasted and assessed 14,195 products entered into the 2023 Great Taste Awards.

Culinary Excellence Recognition Through Stars

This national and international award has the power to change lives, shining an intense recognising light on a food or drink producer’s business. 

Before our Rhubarb and Ginger Jam became a prize-winning fruit preserve and Great Taste Awards winner of one star, it would have been presented to the Great Taste judges in its purest form – a beautiful jam with no Tealady jar or logo in sight. 

It became a celebrated artisanal jam based solely on how it tasted, and the infectious joy that was bestowed onto the experts with every spoonful. 

Prize-Winning Preserves: World Marmalade Awards Champion 

Since 2015, The Dalemain World Marmalade Awards have been on a unique mission to find the best marmalade in the world (if such a thing exists). 

The art of marmalade making involves time-honoured traditions and the precise movements of skilled hands to create a transcendent form of joy and happiness. The World Marmalade Awards are devoted to the tradition and love the people hold for incredibly fresh-tasting marmalade. 

That is why being a World Marmalade Awards champion is such an honour. 

The ‘Why’ Behind the World Marmalade Awards 

The World Marmalade Awards are shrouded in goodness. Not only is this a competition to seek out the finest marmalade makers from all over the globe, but it is also an opportunity to bring a community together, educate others, and raise money for charity – all from a love of marmalade. 

Creating incredible handmade edibles in jars all began in the warmth of childhood days, where the sweet aroma of fruits and the laughter of loved ones lingered in the air, but that sweet joy excluded making marmalade. In the early days of The Tealady, there were no jars of jewel-like bright amber jelly suspending neat cut batons of tender evenly distributed orange peel.

With no experience of making it, and the art of marmalade making feeling like an impossible task beyond reach. In 2018, happily, that all changed when Viv Lloyd, aka The Jam Mistress, shared her skill of this dark art, but that’s a story for another blog. Suffice to say, that’s no longer the case and the Tealady has a store full of award-winning marmalades.

Although we’re not football fans, in 2020, when Norwich City won the Championship, and the county of Norfolk was joyful, it felt appropriate to make a green and yellow jar. A new and zingy Lime & Limoncello marmalade was created to celebrate the success. This delicious jar went on to receive its own winning Gold Medal in the Marmalade Awards.

A Few of Our Award Winners

Handmade Award-Winning Norfolk Jams:

Damson Jam – A forgotten favourite, showcasing a rich, deep plum flavour. 

Awarded 1 star in the 2022 Great Taste Awards.

The Judges said: “Beautifully naturally coloured, this jam provides comforting strong plum flavour, with a good sweet and sour balance. The texture is thicker than expected, but the mouthfeel is pleasing. Reminds the judges of summer days!”

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam – With a lovely aroma of ginger, this jam is well-balanced and not over-sweet. It has a sharpness with a warm aftertaste. A perfect texture with no big chunks. The taste is a luscious combination of rhubarb and ginger.

Awarded 1 star in the 2023 Great Taste Awards.

The judges said: “The judges loved the intensity of this jam. The high sugar content was balanced by punchy acidity from the rhubarb and enhanced by gentle heat from the ginger. They thought it had a proper jam texture and set…all in all, a delicious jam.”

Award Winning Norfolk Handmade Marmalades:

Lemon Marmalade – A fresh-tasting marmalade which is bright and vibrant on the tongue without bitterness. Imbued with soft shreds of Italian lemons, it is wonderfully refreshing. This is super wake-up food for a dull morning.

Awarded 2 stars in the 2022 Great Taste Awards.

The judges said: “This marmalade has a bright pale yellow colour, evenly cut slices of peel and a good, clear gel. A lovely balance of citrus zest and sweetness with well-judged, tender pieces of peel. The layers of complex citrus flavours are really enjoyable and the finish is long and lingering. The gift that keeps on giving.”

Seville Orange Marmalade – Using oranges grown by Amadora of Gospa Citrus in Spain. This is a bright and cheery marmalade which will certainly wake you on a dull day! The 2023 Great Taste judges said, “the aroma and taste is of slow cooked fruit, with the peel exploding with taste as you bite into its soft and plump flesh. It presents a long aftertaste with lingering citrus and sweet notes on the palate.”

Awarded 2 stars in the 2023 Great Taste Awards.

The judges said: “A vibrant marmalade with a lovely refreshing taste. The bitterness is pleasant without being too overpowering, and the texture is great. The peel is not hard, and the product has been made with care. It’s like sunshine in a jar!”

Award Winning Norfolk Handmade Chutneys, Pickles and Relishes:

Caramelised Red Onion Chutney – The sweet red onions are very slow-cooked to give this chutney a soft and sticky texture.

Awarded 1 star in the 2020 Great Taste Awards.

The judges said: “A thick, sticky, soft fudgy consistency and rich brown colour. A mouthwatering aroma, strongly acidic and sweet – just what you would hope for from an onion chutney.”

Spicy Carrot Relish – The humble sweet carrot combined with Middle Eastern flavours. We love it in a wrap with falafel, houmous and crisp lettuce for a tasty lunch.

Awarded 1 star in the 2022 Great Taste Awards.

The judges said: “A chunky, aromatic relish…pleasingly fragrant, with well modulated acidity and salinity. The texture of the carrots is great, the spicing highly fragrant but not aggressive. A nice looking relish with a good scent on the nose. A fair bit of Eastern spice are perceptible. Sound texture. A versatile relish.”

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