Get merry with the new marmalade

By David GreenFORGET sherry trifle and Christmas puddings soaked in brandy.The latest "alcohol-doused" food to hit the market place is going to be marmalade – courtesy of two enterprising East Anglian companies.

By David Green

FORGET sherry trifle and Christmas puddings soaked in brandy.

The latest "alcohol-doused" food to hit the market place is going to be marmalade – courtesy of two enterprising East Anglian companies.

The strong Broadside ale made by Adnams of Southwold is to be one of the ingredients in an orange marmalade being developed by Stonham Hedgerow, a small firm based in Hemingstone, near Ipswich, which turns fresh fruit into jams, chutneys and other preserves.

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Trials have already been carried out using the bottled ale in the marmalade mix, but consideration is now to be given to the use of the lees – the residue left by the brewing process.

Visitors to Southwold were given the chance at the weekend to sample the new marmalade, which will be sold exclusively by Adnams and offered in its two local hotels, The Crown and The Swan.

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The tasting came during a demonstration of traditional marmalade making in the brewery firm's wine and kitchen shop on a weekend when the Suffolk seaside resort was overrun with visitors enjoying the winter sunshine.

Mary Gibbs, from Cambridge, said: "You can definitely taste the Broadside. I drink the ale, so I know what I'm talking about."

David Clarke, from Dereham, added: "It's fabulous – very orangery and the flavour of the beer comes through."

Another Broadside drinker, Ricky Robinson, from Hertfordshire, said he could also detect the ale in the marmalade. "I would certainly buy some," he added.

Jacqui Waring, a food technologist from Norwich, said the marmalade had a good mellow flavour and she had detected the taste of the Broadside ale. "I think it's excellent," she added.

Kathy Neuteboom, who started Stonham Hedgerow 10 years ago and now employs 10 people, said the new marmalade had been praised by many of the people who had taken part in the weekend tastings.

"We've been using bottled Broadside for the prototype, but we're going to slightly change this and use the lees from the brewing process instead and let the fruit soak in it overnight," she added.

"Adnams approached us to make marmalade for them and the two head chefs from The Crown and The Swan, Chris Coubrough and Ian Howell spent the day with us to see how things were done."

Stonham Hedgerow mainly uses fruit grown in the orchards established many years ago by Ms Neuteboom's father Dan, but organic Seville organges are imported from Spain.

The jams, marmalades and chutneys – all hand-made on a cottage industry basis – are sold to hotels, independent stores and farm shops and also to customers abroad in the USA, Dubai and Japan and elsewhere.

Among its prestigious customers are the Grosvenor Hotel and the Park Lane Hotel in London.

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