A SEARCH for the World’s ‘Berry’ best jam maker attracted over 200 entries from far and wide with the winners announced at the Dundee Flower and Food Festival in September.
Artisan jam maker, Vickie Humber from Humber’s Homemade Jam, travelled from her home in Flitwick in Bedfordshire to accept the honour of overall Jampion for her top scoring strawberry jam. Vickie’s winning jam will be available to buy locally at Provender Brown Delicatessen in Perth.
There was, however, a raft of local jam makers that took away well deserved gold, silver and bronze awards in the four entry categories.
Peel Farm at Lintrathen, Old Stables B&B in Alyth, Meikleour Hotel and Glamis Castle are now officially places that you can visit and taste ‘World Class’ jam as they took home awards from the B&B, Restaurant or Hotel category.
Top local artisans (small traditional producers) were Heather Hills Honey Farm from Bridge of Cally, Isabella’s Preserves, Edzell, and Castleton Farm Shop, Fordoun, all easily available to buy locally and a treat to enjoy at home.
The Jampionships also had a Jubilee theme this year when the judges were looking for an artisan producer with highest marks for all three flavours entered and Mark Noonan from Heather Hills Honey was crowned winner of the ‘Jubilee Jam challenge’.
The unsung heroes of jam making in homes across Tayside were who celebrated taking home awards were Anne Simpson from Alyth, Susan Cameron in Broughty Ferry, Ruth Hazell and Bert Barnett in Rattray, Kay Lamb from Perth and Isobel Hindmarch from Ardler. The children’s category was very well represented with the judges being highly impressed with the standard of entry.
Mackays Jam sponsored the ultimate trophy, the ‘Jampion Jeelie Jar’ which was designed and made in Perth by specialist glass firm, Spectra Glass.
The World Jampionships are launched annually in May and are supported by the Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association’s ‘ampionships - Berry Heritage Initiative’ which has attracted funding from Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, the European Community Rural Tayside LEADER 2007-2013 Programme and from Perth and Kinross Council and is dedicated to “preserving” the berry heritage of Blairgowrie and East Perthshire for future generations”.
The judging panel comprised Shirley Wallace (SWRI), Lynn Smith (Blairgowrie High School, Willie Macleod (Scottish Preserves) and Tony Heath (Tony Heath Cook School).