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Wetwang's Lady Marmalade
FROM the ancient Greeks to the Romans to Paddington Bear, it has been a breakfast staple throughout the centuries.
Now, one woman is on a mission to prove once and for all that the best marmalade in the world is made right here in Yorkshire.
Melanie Moss, who runs Wolds Cottage Kitchen in East Yorkshire, scooped gold and bronze medals in last year’s World Original Marmalade Awards and is now aiming for more glory when the 2013 winners are revealed next weekend.
Melanie, 39, worked as a manager in the hospitality industry in and around York for 16 years, but became increasingly frustrated at the amount of food being imported instead of sourced locally.
Having always wanted to run her own business, she took the plunge two years ago, setting up her own marmalade, jams and chutney company and she now produces 500 jars a week.
She said: “It felt the right time for me to go for it, to make my own footprint in the market. It was a hobby that has grown into a business.”
She entered the awards for the first time last year and her pink grapefruit marmalade was one of only nine gold winners from a field of 1,700 entries. She also won a bronze for her satsuma marmalade and is hoping that and her orange and whisky creation will bring more success this year.
She said: “I was in tears when I heard I had won last year. I was at Murton farmers’ market when I got the email on my phone and I had tears running down my face. Last year, I just wanted to know what people thought of my marmalade, but this year the pressure is on!”
Emma Mason, spokeswoman for the awards, which are held at Dalemain Mansion in Cumbria, said while overall marmalade sales were falling behind other products such as chocolate spreads, sales from artisan producers were soaring, aided by the proliferation of farmers’ markets and farm shops and a general increased interest in where food comes from.
She said when the awards were launched by Jane Hasell-McCosh eight years ago there were 50 entries, but by last year that had risen to 1,700 from all over the world including novelty jars such as chilli, chocolate and alcoholic marmalades.
This year’s winners will be unveiled next weekend at Dalemain when there will also be a day of activities including the “Marmalashes”, a marmalade-making competition between Britain and Australia.