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Taiwan doubles award haul at annual U.K. marmalade competition

04/21/2024 09:11 PM
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A number of Taiwanese artisanal marmalade producers pose together for a photo on Saturday at the ceremony for the 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards held in the U.K.'s Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam
A number of Taiwanese artisanal marmalade producers pose together for a photo on Saturday at the ceremony for the 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards held in the U.K.'s Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam

London, April 20 (CNA) A number of Taiwanese artisanal marmalade producers made a splash at the latest edition of an annual United Kingdom marmalade competition on Saturday, more than doubling the number of honors they won last year.

Products from Taiwan won eight gold, 13 silver and 27 bronze awards at the Artisan Competition of the 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards, part of the World's Original Marmalade Awards & Festival.

Although none of Taiwan's producers were able to get a double gold award, the highest achievement at the festival, their 2024 haul of over 40 honors more than doubled the 20 awards Taiwan's marmalade artisans raked in last year.

Moreover, marmalades made by Taiwan's artisans also received 25 "commended" honors at the annual festival.

Nantou County-based Lohas Edibles Rose Garden was the biggest winner among Taiwanese brands, with three gold, four silver, and seven bronze awards and six commendations.

It was unable to repeat as a "double gold" winner, however, after taking the "double gold savoury" award in 2023 for its orange marmalade made using Kinmen kaoliang.

A spread of 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards winning marmalades is displayed inside U.K.'s Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam
A spread of 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards winning marmalades is displayed inside U.K.'s Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam

Following Lohas Edibles Rose Garden was Keya Jam, which raked in total of 18 honors -- one gold, four silver and eight bronze awards and five commendations.

The same ingredient used by Keya Jam that received a specific mention from chef Dan Lepard, chairman of the panel of jurors in 2023, caught the attention of the judges again this year.

That special ingredient is citrus taiwanica, also known as Katayoe' in Taiwan's Indigenous Saisiyat language, or simply Nansho Daidai sour orange named during the island's Japanese colonial era.

The sour oranges, found mostly in Miaoli County's Nanzhuang Township, are an endangered strain of indigenous oranges that have been a focus of the then Forestry Bureau's (now Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency's) restoration program since 2021.

As a result of Keya Jam's mastery with the ingredient, the agency has consistently provided the sour oranges to Keya Jam for use in research and development.

Lepard himself even came to Taiwan earlier this year to work with the agency, and not only provided advice on how to best utilize the special orange but planted the seeds of the fruit himself in Nanzhuang.

Lepard posted many articles and photos related to the orange on his website after he left Taiwan.

On Saturday, a forum was also held for the special fruit at which attendees got the chance to engage with the owner of Keya Jam and also Lepard himself.

According to this year's jurors, Keya Jam's Nanzhuang Orange Marmalade won a silver award with 27 out of 30 points, the same score the artisan's Pure Sour Orange Marmalade received last year.

The panel used the word "arresting" when describing the flavor impact provided by the fruit when incorporated into marmalade.

Celebrity baker Dan Lepard (left) pose with Keya (right) the founder and owner of Taiwanese artisan marmalade company Keya Jam take a picture together at their special 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards forum on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam
Celebrity baker Dan Lepard (left) pose with Keya (right) the founder and owner of Taiwanese artisan marmalade company Keya Jam take a picture together at their special 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards forum on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keya Jam

Other Taiwanese companies that were among the competition's winners were Nongtian Cultural and Creative Studio, Honeybee Jam, Butterbus, Kudamono Danshi, Good Jam, Cing Guo Dessert and Judy's Jam Garden.

Five students from Yunlin County's Municipal Zhanghu Junior High and Elementary School also participated in the festival's Homemade Competition, where they won two gold and three silver awards, school principal Chen Ching-chen (陳清圳) said on Facebook on Sunday.

Of the young winners, Lin Yan-tong (林晏彤) was the winner of the festival's Children's Marmalade award.

According to the school's dean, Chen Ching-shu (陳靜淑), the students were all taught by Yunlin's Butterbus marmalade owner Chen Yun-yun (陳韻筠), whose company won one gold and one bronze award and received four commendations.

The ceremony for the 2024 Dalemain World Marmalade Awards was held on April 20 as per tradition at the Dalemain Mansion & Historic Gardens, part of the U.K.'s Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since its inception in 2005, Paddington Bear has been the festival's mascot due to the character's famous love for marmalade.

The main sponsor of the event is Fortnum & Mason, a department store founded in 1707, and brands honored at the awards will have their marmalades featured in Fortnum & Mason stores.

(By Chen Yun-yu, Huang Guo-fang and James Lo)

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