Taste Test: What’s the best marmalade for your breakfast table?
PUBLISHED: 11:26 29 January 2019
We tried nearly 20 marmalades from Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex to find the best of the best. Here are the results.
1.The Garden Pantry, Rhubarb, Lime and Mint Marmalade.
Purists will probably point out that, yes, there’s no orange in this marmalade, but we won’t hold that against this award-winning preserve which took bronze at the 2017 World Marmalade Awards. Soft and spreadable in texture, the tongue tinglingly ‘fizzy’ sensation of the rhubarb makes this a great morning wake-up call spread. There was just a hint of bitterness. It wasn’t too minty. And the overall flavour profile was like a fresh summer’s mojito. Would be lovely sandwiched in a cake.
2. Thursday Cottage Vintage Orange Marmalade, Thick Cut
Big chunks of thick peel. Very dark. But this one was surprisingly lighter than it looked, giving over a luscious texture and very tangy, lingering citrus flavour with just a smack of bitterness. A proper old fashioned marmalade but also a good middle ground for those who are working their way up to the bitter stuff.
3. Tiptree Orange Marmalade, Medium Cut
Is it weird to describe a marmalade as elegant? Because that’s just the word that sprung to the minds of our testers. This beautifully clear jelly-like preserve was exceptionally well balanced and simply gorgeous. One to put out on the table if you’re looking to impress.
4. Ollands Farm Foods Norwich Dry Gin and Grapefruit Marmalade
Made with Bullard’s gin, this was the only gin marmalade we tried where we could clearly detect the spirit. As soon as you open the jar there’s a big whoosh of booze – but not so much you won’t be able to drive for the day. Working in harmony with the juniper notes of gin were big fruity grapefruit chunks. This would be amazing stirred into a cocktail.
5. Season’s Bounty Sicilian Blood Orange Marmalade
A juicy, soft set marmalade with a juicy, mouth-watering orange flavour. This is another one we think could turn marmalade haters into lovers. It is the ideal filling for a chocolate sponge or with a pain au chocolat.
6. Tiptree Tawny Marmalade, Thick Cut
A very traditional, Paddington-style marmalade that drifts into the realms of darkness. Following an initial burst of citrus oil from the peel, the flavour lingers around the mouth with an almost treacly aftertaste. We will certainly be adding it to our Christmas pudding this year. A smooth, creamy texture means it spreads nice and thickly onto toast.
7. Thursday Cottage Blood Orange Marmalade, Medium Cut
A gloriously pink preserve with large pieces of almost candied peel which are not bitter in the slightest. This is a spoon-licking marmalade which packs a punch much weightier than its colour suggests. One of the very best.
8. Ollands Farm Foods Pomelo, Ginger and Lemongrass Marmalade
A clear set marmalade with bursting pieces of pomelo – a kind of cross between a grapefruit and an orange. Lemongrass gives a delicate fragrance and mingles in harmony with a soft bite of ginger at the back. A very interesting combination.
9. Peachey’s Preserves Seville Orange and Chilli Marmalade
We liked the fact the orange peel was cut into cubelets rather than presented in long shreds in this marmalade. Initially this has a burst of fresh orange flavour but after a few moments a warm hum of chilli comes through without smacking you about the face. Would be nice in savoury dishes as a glaze, even in stir fries.
10. Tiptree Orange and Malt Whisky Marmalade
The finest whiskers of peel are suspended here in a clear set preserve that floods the mouth with the unmistakeable sunshine of orange, tempered with mellow, toasty spirit. A very nice treat indeed.
Where can I buy the marmalades?
Peachey’s Preserves, Ollands Farm Foods and Season’s Bounty can be found in specialist food shops, delis and farm shops across Norfolk as can Tiptree and Thursday Cottage which are also available in East of England Co-op stores.
How to use up leftover marmalade
Most spreads need using up within four to six weeks, but unless you have it every day, chances are you won’t be able to get through it in that time. So why not…
1. Spread it over stale bread, cover with chocolate chunks and custard and bake.
2. Mix thin cut marmalade with fresh chilli and grated ginger to marinade pork steaks, chicken or tofu.
3. Warm a quarter of a jar with a splosh of whisky and serve as a fruity sauce with gammon.
4. Put a spoonful inside cupcakes, bake, glaze with more marmalade and top with chocolate ganache.
5. Mix with custard and serve over a steamed chocolate pudding.
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