For the second time, the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Competition was held as part of the famous World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion, Cumbria this March. The contest is a celebration of how marmalade has united people from around the world, and the winner for 2019 is Australian entrant Bill Knight, with his ‘Gibbs Creek Seville Orange, Lemon and Lime Marmalade, with Angostura Bitters’.
The Marmalade Awards receives thousands of entries annually from over 40 countries worldwide, and the Commonwealth competition proved no exception, with entries flying in from Canada, Australia, Kenya, the Bahamas, the UK and New Zealand. Entrants were keen to demonstrate the best of their countries’ produce, and ingredients included guava, New Zealand honey bourbon, gingered vanilla and Kenyan orange! Despite the quality of entries, the judges were unanimous in their choice of winner, with Bill’s marmalade receiving the perfect score.
Chocolatier and Waitrose consultant chef Will Torrent commented: “Having judged last year’s Commonwealth competition, I had high hopes for this year and the entries didn’t disappoint! Some fantastic flavours on show from around the Commonwealth, but Bill’s winning marmalade with Angostura Bitters was beautifully balanced and a texture to die for!”
Awards patron and marmalade expert Pam ‘the Jam’ Corbin agreed, describing Bill’s entry as “A wonderful marmalade – intensely fruity with peels and gel in delicious harmony. One of the greats!”
Donna Smith, director of Thursday Cottage, said: “We were delighted to see such a range of entries to the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Marmalade Awards this year with many interesting ingredients from all parts of the Commonwealth. The winner, Bill Knight of Australia rose to the challenge by creating a delicious Seville Orange, Lemon and Lime Marmalade with Angostura Bitters. The introduction of Angostura Bitters brought a touch of the exotic to the World Marmalade Awards, congratulations to Bill and all the marmalade makers.”
In close second behind Bill’s winning marmalade was Ingrid MacRitchie from Canada, whose Seville Orange Marmalade with Canadian Ice Wine was highly praised by the judges. Other runner ups included Reuben Kooperman, also from Australia, with his Tahitian Lime Marmalade, and Benjamin Tomkins of the UK, whose Dundee Maple marmalade was deemed ‘nice and tangy.’
This Award comes closely on the heels of another Australian victory – the annual ‘Marmal-Ashes’, a marmalade contest between the UK and Australia named for the famous cricket contest, saw the Aussies take the prize yet again, meaning they now have six victories to England’s two.
Organisers of the Marmalade Awards are delighted to see the international appeal of both the competition and the art of marmalade making spread around the world, and as well as launching a Japanese Marmalade Festival in May, and developing their now well-established Australian Marmalade Festival, plans are already well underway for the 2020 World’s Original Marmalade Awards at Dalemain.