The Dalemain World Marmalade Awards for 2023 took place a few weeks ago. More than 3,000 jars of marmalade from 45 countries all over the world were sent to participate in this international festival, the most important in the world, whose headquarters are in Penrith, Cumbria, United Kingdom.
It is a very complete competition, with countless categories, but only three Double Golds, the most outstanding, in three categories that represent excellence in every sense: Double Gold Traditional Winner, the Double Gold Savoury Winner and the Double Gold International Winner.
This year’s Double Gold Traditional Winner was Melissa Graeme of Melissa’s Preserves for her Seville Orange & Stem Ginger Marmalade. This marmalade artisan from Taunton (UK) has been winning top awards for years. She achieved a Gold Award for he Seville Orange Marmalade in 2018, a Gold award in 2017 for her Seville Orange and Stem Ginger marmalade and in 2018 achieved a Silver Award for her Blackcurrant and Creme de Cassis Jam.
Melissa’s Preserves’ excellent marmalade
Experts usually argue that to make an excellent, award-worthy marmalade, three elements have to be present: 1) having a great and proven recipe, 2) having high quality ingredients, in the case of the Seville oranges, that these are organic, to achieve better results, and with a brand behind them that guarantees that the product is of the highest quality. Finally, 3) it is necessary that, beyond the recipe, it is applied faithfully, taking care of all the details.
One more word on why Seville oranges must be of quality and, in this respect, organic and carefully cultivated. Organic Seville oranges, we insist, those that are certified organic, have the virtue of having been cultivated to a high standard. Organic cultivation makes it possible to obtain a product free of toxic chemicals that are harmful to the fruit, the environment and people. Organic and biodynamic cultivation methods are par excellence the best way to produce a pesticide-free product that is also consumed whole. As such, the properties of this fruit are more and better, with higher quality juice and a better level of pectin, more prominent aroma and natural ripening, important aspects for making an extraordinary marmalade. In addition, none of the toxins present in conventional agriculture, the opposite of organic, would be present in the marmalade.
Gospa Citrus behind this great award
The merit of Melissa Graeme and her wonderful marmalade is enormous. In this sense, there are those who share Melissa’s joy. This is the case of the company from Mairena del Alcor, Seville (Spain) Gospa Citrus, where the Seville oranges she used for her winning marmalade come from. Gospa Citrus is a company whose family has been cultivating Seville oranges for four generations in the heart of ‘Los Alcores’ in Seville, a place of enormous natural and historical heritage, privileged by its nature, climate and soil. This place is linked to the quality and abundance of its water, something that attracted the British in 1882 who created The Seville Waterworks Company (SWW) to bring this water from Los Alcores to Seville. By 1884, pressurised water supply was already a reality in part of the city of Seville, thanks to modern British installations and water from this historic micro-region of abundant water.
Origin of this Festival and Competition
These awards were founded in 2005 by Jane Hasell-McCosh with the idea of preserving, cultivating and expanding one of Britain’s jewels: marmalade. The awards and an annual Festival are based at Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian manor house where the same family lived for over 300 years, which also has an extensive legacy of marmalade recipes.