Josephine makes world-beating marmalade
A WOMAN who started making marmalade to get through lockdown has won international recognition.
Josephine Coombe, from Littleton-upon-Severn, went up against more than 3,000 other entrants from around the world at the World Marmalade Awards, held at Dalemain House in Cumbria.
She came away with a gold, two silvers and three bronze awards in different categories in the home-made section of the competition.
The hobby began when, after moving to the area last September, Josephine’s landlord brought her some apples from his orchard, and she started researching how to make chutney and jam.
During the December lockdown she taught herself to make preserves and marmalade, and experimented with adding different ingredients.
Josephine said: "I love cooking and I love trying out new things and my mother’s always been a marmalade fan, so we grew up eating marmalade.
"The interesting thing about marmalade is that it’s both an art and a science. It’s very easy to get it wrong, it takes a lot of focus and concentration – and there’s nothing more beautiful than holding up a finished jar of marmalade to the light and seeing the sun stream through the jellied gold.
"It was a fun way to stay productive during lockdown."
Judges at the awards taste the marmalade and give a score out of 20 based on three areas: presentation, appearance and colour, peel size and set, and flavour, aroma and harmony.
Josephine won gold in the First Timers category for her Seville orange marmalade, which also won a silver in the Seville Clear category.
She was awarded another silver in the ‘Marmalade for a friend’ category.
Her three bronze titles were for a marmalade with alcohol, a citrus marmalade with orange, lemon and pink grapefruit, and for a marmalade with an ‘unexpected savoury element’ - Josephine added chilli.
She came home with a clutch of certificates, and her prize for wining gold, a locally-carved wooden spoon.
Josephine (pictured above with one of her marmalades and the gold medal spoon) said: “I was delighted. I knew I was going to win the gold but I had no idea that my other marmalades had won all these other awards, so I was thrilled.
"I will definitely be back."