Marmalade maker Lynne Allan, who runs Lady Waterford Preserves at the Old Dairy Concept Store in Ford, has struck gold in more ways than one at this year’s World’s Original Marmalade Awards.
One of only a handful of gold award winners in the artisan section of the competition, which is held every year at Dalemain House near Penrith, the award has particular relevance because her winning marmalade, called Venetian Gold Marmalade, contains 24 carat edible gold.
And the gold does indeed come from Venice, supplied by Mario Berta Battiloro, a small family firm of gold beaters and the only one in Venice producing gold leaf by hand.
Working closely with her husband Keith, the Allans have spent the last few months working at the Gritti Palace Hotel Cookery School teaching guests the finer points of British scone making and it was there that they came up with the idea of adding gold to marmalade.
“Gold really does add a touch of class to a well made marmalade,” said Lynne, after receiving the award. “The rich amber colour of marmalade and the dazzling sparkle of gold dotted through it gives it a luxurious and unique look.”
Gold has no taste but is reputed to have aphrodisiac and medicinal qualities. It is a natural food additive approved by the European Union but it goes back further than that.
In the 16th century Italian nobility dined on risotto with edible gold leaf and the Elizabethans ate crystallised fruits covered in gold leaf.
Over the coming months it is hoped that the marmalade will also be offered in a specially made Murano glass jar which will make it even more precious.