Is marmalade losing its a-peel?

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People have been making marmalade since the 16th century with recipes and traditions passed on from family to family.But in recent years, fewer Australians appear to be starting the day with a piece of toast covered in the citrus spread.Stephen Downes, the head cook of South Australian jam-maker Beerenberg, said he had noticed the change over time.”I think it has its challenges with sugar and the way people eat and what they do for breakfast, but the older generations still eat jam,” Mr Downes said.”I think it’s just the younger generation that don’t eat jam.”Despite the drop in appeal, the Australian Marmalade Awards has had a record number of entries this year.A panel of eight judges in Adelaide are currently in search of the country’s best marmalade, tasting almost 300 entries from around the country.Run by the National Trust of South Australia, the zesty group is passionate about preserving the tradition of making marmalade.Kath Rayner has been on the judging panel every year since the competition started. Judge Allie Reynolds said making marmalade was an art and part of our history.”It’s not quick to make — it takes forever,” she said.”I make it over a week — I do it in stages — but it is a skill we should preserve, literally preserve.”I think there is a lot of interest in the ways things used to be done.”

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Marmalade ingredients include oranges, sugar, water and lemon. (ABC News: Sarah Hancock)
“It is something really good with all sorts of things, it’s not just something you put on a piece of toast.”I, for instance, eat it on sausages, because it’s really really good with sausages — the slightly bitter taste cuts through the fat and makes an incredible combination.”Judges score according to aroma, texture and, of course, the taste.Competition categories include Seville Orange, Any Citrus, Dark and Chunky, Octogenarian and Upwards, Children’s Marmalade, Man-Made Marmalade and Marmalade with a Twist. (ABC News: Sarah Hancock)
From one jam session to the nextAll finalists will go on to compete at the world championships in the UK in March.The champion’s homemade product will be produced in a limited commercial run by Beerenberg.All of the preserves will be displayed at the Australian Festival of Marmalade at Beaumont House in Adelaide on Sunday, October 7, where the winning spread will be announced. Photo:
Jane Hasell-McCosh and Stephen Downes try marmalades at the Australian Marmalade Awards. External Link:

Facebook Jules Schiller eating marmalade “I think people are coming back to marmalade — they are rediscovering it: toast is where it started but now people use it as a glaze — a lot of people use it for cooking,” she said. Photo:
A judge tries some of the marmalades. (ABC News: Sarah Hancock)
Oranges and elbow grease go into marmaladeThe panel is led by Jane Hasell-McCosh, the creator of the World’s Original Marmalade Awards in the UK.She said the art of marmalade-making was for all generations.”This is for young people as well, because the important thing about marmalade is that actually it’s a group activity,” Ms Hasell-McCosh said.”It’s quite hard work making marmalade, so the more you can do it with other people, so you are all chopping up the fruit, the quicker you are going to be.
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(ABC News: Sarah Hancock) By Sarah Hancock

Updated

September 28, 2018 09:45:49

Photo:
Some of the chunkier offerings at the Australian Marmalade Awards in Adelaide.