A nine-year-old girl has become the youngest ever winner of the world marmalade award, beating thousands of contestants from across the globe.
Flora Rider from the Isle of Wight impressed the judges with her marmalade made from Seville oranges and orange blossom from her local supermarket. The conserve, which was made on only her second attempt, is now on sale in Fortnum & Mason after being reproduced professionally as a result of winning the prize.
Rider, who took up making marmalade with her mother in January, said she was “very excited”, “over the moon” and “really amazed to have won the prize”.Flora Rider with a jar of her winning marmalade. Photograph: Marmalade Awards
“I enjoyed shredding the peel and filling the jars, but best of all I enjoyed eating the finished marmalade,” she said. “I liked the thought of adding flowers to my marmalade, so using orange blossom seemed like a good idea. The taste was very nice, with a lovely floral and honey flavour.”
The award attracted more than 3,000 entries, from countries as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Japan and Kuwait.
Jane Hasell-McCosh, who founded the awards in 2005, said she had also discovered making marmalade with her mother as a child, and so was “delighted that our winner has done the same at such a young age”. “The future is clearly very bright for marmalade,” she said.
The competition, which is open to amateur and professional makers, is normally held during a festival at Dalemain Mansion in the Lake District, but the Covid-19 pandemic meant this year’s entries were submitted by post. For each jar of Rider’s marmalade sold, 50p will go to the charity Hospice at Home.
The event is popular in Japan, where an associated festival is held each year. The Japanese ambassador and his wife were among those who cancelled their plans to attend the Lake District event last year as a result of the pandemic.