A marmalade showcasing Australian Native ingredients has been judged Australia’s best at the Australian Marmalade Awards with the winners announced today, (11th November) in Birregurra, Victoria.
Judged by a team of marmalade experts, the Orange & Bush Honey Marmalade made by Reuben Kooperman from Perth was described by judges as ‘perfect’ with an ‘absolutely lovely, subtle but complex bush honey flavour’.
Reuben’s entry also scored top marks for its beautiful colour and clarity and alluring balance of acidity and sweetness.
This year’s contest attracted hundreds of entries and has been organised by a volunteer committee in picturesque Birregurra, 130kms South-West of Melbourne in the beautiful Otways region, nestled inland from The Great Ocean Road. Birregurra has a wonderful local community and incredibly strong food culture and is home to award winning restaurant Brae. Some of the team from Brae joined the judges in tasting the wonderful entries. Judging took place at Irrewarra Bakery’s historic stables.
Riverland citrus expert, Ian Tolley, who is recognised around the world for his knowledge and contribution to citrus growing is Patron of the Awards and visited Birregurra for the launch of the awards and spent time with the gardeners at Brae discussing citrus.
“We have been delighted by the number of incredible entries we have received this year,” said Belinda Stewart, President Organising Committee, Australian Marmalade Awards.
“Amazing marmalades arrived from every Australia state and territory, opening the parcels to find jars of gorgeous marmalade lovingly made with Australian citrus was a joy. There were many superb marmalades. However, ultimately Reuben’s was a standout.”
“We are really thrilled the local community have got behind the awards, with some people making marmalade for the first time. The competition even sparked a shortage of Seville oranges in local greengrocers! We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors, Beerenberg Fanily Farm and our local supporters. We held the judging at Irrewarra Bakery’s historic stables. Bread and marmalade are truly a winning combination,” Belinda added.
The Australian awards are run in partnership with the prestigious Dalemain World Marmalade Awards in England. Founded by Jane Hasell-McCosh in 2005, with the initial idea of preserving, growing and widening the generations-old custom of turning citrus into marmalade. Eighteen years later, the awards attract thousands of entries from around the globe, including Australia, Japan, India, Africa and South America.
Rueben Kooperman has tasted success on the world marmalade stage, most recently in April 2023 when he travelled to Cumbria to accept his award.
“With the outstanding marmalade made by Reuben Kooperman which won the ‘Marmalade For The King’ category in April at the World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain in the UK, it is only natural that one of his marmalades should take home the top prize at the Australian Awards. We are delighted that the Australian Awards have had such a triumphant year!” said Beatrice Hasell-McCosh, Dalemain World Marmalade Awards.
The Australian Awards are proudly sponsored by Beerenberg Farm and Irrewarra Sourdough Bakery.
"We are very grateful to our headline sponsor Beerenberg who have been long term supporters of the Awards. For six generations Beerenberg’s owners, the Paech family, have lived in the Adelaide Hills and they are champions of fresh produce and preserving, fostering innovation, and taking Australian goodness to the world,’’ Jane Harley, Patron World Marmalade Awards & Ambassador Australian Marmalade Awards
This year the charities that have been chosen as the recipient of the entry fee proceeds are the Colac Area Health Foundation, and the Birregurra Community Medical Centre.
For more information, cooking tips and entry forms visit www.marmaladeawards.com.au