At just nine years old, Flora Rider has triumphed over thousands of entries in the 2021 Homemade Marmalade Awards, receiving the Best-in-Show Award for her Seville Orange and Orange Blossom Marmalade. She beat entries from over 30 countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Japan, Kuwait and Brazil, all from her family home on the Isle of Wight. Flora received her award at Dalemain in Cumbria where she met our marmalade expert Walter Scott, chairman of Wilkin & Sons.
“Replicating the winning marmalade is a challenge that our team in the kitchen enjoy as we trial the marmalade for Flora’s approval before it is made in quantity to be sold at Dalemain and in Fortnum & Mason in London and Hong Kong. This year Flora’s winning combination of oranges and orange blossom resulted in a very unusual floral marmalade, she deserves every congratulations,” Donna Smith, quoted by director Thursday Cottage. 50p from the proceeds of each jar sold will go to Hospice at Home, the key beneficiary of the Awards
For over fifteen years, tens of thousands of marmalade jars have been judged at Dalemain. However, the 2021 Marmalade Awards almost never happened, owing to the third UK coronavirus lockdown. But founder Jane Hasell-McCosh was determined to continue with the competition. She says:
‘The Awards bring such happiness to thousands of people every year, and even though we clearly couldn’t have a Festival as usual, it seemed so important to continue with the competition. It creates such a wonderful sense of community all around the world, as well as giving people something fun and creative to do during a difficult time. I discovered marmalade making as a child with my mother and I am delighted that our winner has done the same, and at such a young age – the future is clearly very bright for marmalade!’
(photos by Hermione McCosh photography)