A couple from a Dartmoor town have been crowned Gold winners in the World Marmalade championships.

The Dalemain World Marmalade Awards which take place each April in the Lake District saw over 4,000 marmalades being judged in 15 categories including Seville, best children’s marmalade and even prisons’ marmalade. 

There was stiff competition, with five Devon winners in total in the handmade marmalade category, with Caroline Hodge and Neil Wooldridge from Moretonhampstead awarded Gold for their Dark & Chunky creation. 

The marmalade is made to recipe based on the marmalade made by Caroline’s late aunt.

“Her marmalade was fantastic,” said Caroline. “We use all organic ingredients, and lots of fruit and a third less sugar. We just make flavours that we like, for example Bergamot lemons from a shop in Totnes for the manmade entry.”

In their first year they were placed second and narrowly missed a gold. The second year they won a silver and bronze but the gold proved elusive. This third year of entry they won Gold for Dark and Chunky; Silver for Savoury Marmalade and a Bronze in the Man-Made category.

Caroline first heard about the championships from a work colleague when she moved to Devon in 2014. She started making her own marmalade with her partner Neil as they found the shop-bought marmalades were too sweet. 

Shortly afterwards they started sending in their entries to the championships which also holds marmalade festivals in Australia and Japan.

Only the Gold winners of each category are invited to attend the Lake District estate for the prize-giving and Caroline was so pleased she attended this year.

“We didn’t appreciate quite how prestigious an event it was until we were there, or quite how many marmalades there were! Fortnum & Masons are a key sponsor alongside the festival patron Paddington Bear.

Caroline and Neil will be defending their gold title wins and endeavouring to get more Golds for their marmalade creations next year.

She said: “We will keep on entering the championships for as long as we make marmalade.”

And her secret to a really good marmalade? “It’s all in the marinating of the fruit in the herbs and spices and Dartmoor water directly out of a bore. Soak the fruit for at least three days before you even think about cooking it!”

Anyone interested in trying their award-winner can contact Caroline on [email protected] for a sample pot, while stocks last.