Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Food Programme

Marmalade on Radio 4

If you have half an hour to spare, listen to today's Food Programme on Radio 4 (repeated on Monday at 3.30pm) reporting from the annual marmalade festival at Dalemain in Cumbria and musing on the general state of marmalade in the UK.

Presenter Tim Hayward's conclusion was that while the buying and eating of marmalade seems to be in decline, people are beginning to see the value of high-quality marmalade and are pursuing that instead, either by making their own or by buying artisan preserves rather than the mass-produced offering. So while quantity may be suffering, quality is not. So the bad news is really good news.

Allegedly, marmalade's decline is partly caused by the fact that we are all too busy to sit down and eat breakfast, and marmalade doesn't lend itself to being eaten on the move, along with a takeaway coffee. But this is not true. A marmalade sandwich is a fine thing - and even better made with cold toast.

This year's winning entry at Dalemain was made by a Dr Yen-Chung Chong, a retired microbiologist from Brighton, whose blood orange and vodka marmalade will be on sale at Fortnum & Mason soon. That would put quite a kick in your daily breakfast.

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