The 2017 Australian Marmalade Competition is now open!
After the unprecedented success of the first Australian Marmalade Awards and Festival in 2016, entries are now open for this year's competition. Entrants can compete in the home-made or artisan (small producer) sections. The overall champion marmalade maker will have the opportunity to see their marmalade produced in a commercial run by South Australian icon, Beerenberg.
Marmalade began its life more as a quince paste than as the sharp and tangy spread that we now know. The story goes that a spare shipload of Seville oranges from Spain was cooked up by an enterprising Scotswoman and a new taste sensation was created. The recipe was developed in Scotland in Victorian times and has since then become a staple ingredient of the English breakfast and passed on to all countries in the British Empire, including Australia.
With a renowned citrus growing area in the Riverland, South Australia is well placed to have a vibrant marmalade industry. In fact, there are a large number of home marmalade makers throughout South Australia and other States, who are passionate about making this very under rated spread. The National Trust wished to acknowledge this thriving home industry by establishing the Australian Marmalade Awards, and to encourage the art of preserve making using recipes passed down from generation to generation.
In 2016 the winners of the competition received their awards at the Australian Festival of Marmalade at Beaumont House. The two champion marmalade makers were from South Australia, although the competition received entries from the majority of other States and even New Zealand. Bronze, silver, gold and double gold awards were given to the entrants and the overall double gold champion was offered the opportunity to have their winning recipe produced and sold by Beerenberg Family Farm.
In last year's competition, marmalade entries ranged from the classic Seville Orange (some say that this is the only 'true' marmalade) to spiced blood orange and port savour, or lemon, honey and ginger. The winning home-made entry at the inaugural Australian Marmalade Awards in 2016 was a 'Pina Colada' marmalade and the winning artisan entry 'Orange and Whisky'. Delicious!
Now that winter has truly arrived and the new season's citrus is available in all good fruit and vegetable stores, or if you are lucky enough, in your own garden, put on your thinking caps, prepare your aprons, large pots and sterilised jars ready for action and try your hand at making a tangy citrus marmalade.
There are two sections in the competition: Home-made or Artisan / Small Producer.
Within the home-made competition, there are seven entry categories to choose from: Seville Orange, Any Citrus, First-timers, Children's, Marmalade 'with a twist', Gardener's Marmalade (for those growing and using their own fruit) and Mr Marmalade (male marmalistas only).
The Artisan Competition is open to all small commercial producers who make their marmalade by the 'open pan' method.
You can post or deliver your marmalade to Beaumont House, 631 Glynburn Road, Beaumont, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and the organisers will store it carefully until the time for judging at the end of August. The closing date for entries is Monday 21 August. Amongst the judges number the head chef of Beerenberg, representatives from the CWA and Jane Hasell-McCosh, the founder of the Dalemain World's Original Marmalade Awards and Festival UK.
The entry forms and tips for entering are available on the National Trust website.
Keep up to date with the progress of the Competition on Facebook. Are you up for the challenge?
Speaking from her Cumbrian kitchen, World's Original Marmalade Awards founder Jane Hasell-McCosh invites you to enter your best marmalade into the 2017 Australian Marmalade Awards.
Winners will be announced on 30 August and the 2017 Awards presented during the Australian Marmalade Festival, which in 2017 will be held in the heart of the citrus producing Riverland, at Olivewood Homestead in Renmark on Sunday 3 September.
We can't wait to see what mouth-watering combinations you can come up with this year!
Happy Marmalade Making!