Jam makers across the world will soon be hard at work as they use the “berry best” produce to create simple, sumptuous and fruity perfection in a jar.
The second World Jampionships have just been launched in the strawberry fields of Blairgowrie – the heart of Scotland’s prime fruit growing area.
Now Fife’s jam makers have the ideal opportunity to highlight the superb quality of strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants grown in the Kingdom.
Last year’s inaugural competition enjoyed spectacular success, with over 100 entries focused on raspberry jam coming from all over the UK and abroad. Now the competition has been widened to include the other two fruits.
The overall winner sent her amazing jam all the way from Canada – Trisha Gagnon, the well known blue grass singer who lives on an organic berry farm.
Jampionships co-ordinator Tracey Baxter said that the project is not just about making jam, but is a way of spotlighting Scotland – as a magnificent soft fruit growing area – to the rest of the world.
The initiative, she said, supports Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association’s overall aim of promoting East Perthshire as a year-round, sustainable, quality tourism destination.
One of the competition organisers, Kay McClement, said that there is a huge emphasis on heritage, highlighting local produce, and passing skills from one generation to the next.
“We would love to see girls like Gemma who enjoy eating strawberries and jam getting into the kitchen and see just how easy it is to turn these fantastic local fruits in to tasty jam.
“She has made a start by having a lesson from award winning raspberry jam maker Eileen McBain.
“Many people remember picking “the Berries”. It was a truly unforgettable summer adventure for both the locals and those who came in on the “Berry Buses” for a huge local welcome, and fantastic fruit.
“The response was phenomenal last year, and there is obviously huge demand for this type of competition. It is open to artisans, chefs, and all jam fans.
“We are looking for a ‘Jampion’ with passion who can make the very best ‘real’ jam that lets the fruit do all the talking!
“We hope that those who missed out last year will try again, and that newcomers to the jam-making art will reach for their pots and pans. There is nothing like the aroma of freshly made jam filling a kitchen,” she said.
The winners will be chosen from the categories of Homemade, Artisan, and Hotel/Restaurant/B&B. One of them will be crowned overall “World Jampion“.
This year there is a special Jubilee Jam-tastic Challenge for the artisan producer entering all three flavours and gaining the highest combined scores.
There will also be a class for Junior Jam Makers, aged 16 and under, and recognised community groups such as Brownies, Scouts, and schools.
Judging will take place in August, with the announcement of the winners at the Dundee Flower and Food Festival, on 31st August 2012.
The closing date for the competition is August 20, 2012, and entry forms and further information can be found at www.worldjamawards.co.uk
Caption: Chillaxing in fabulous style from her criminology course at the University of Abertay is 18 year old Gemma Bannerman, from Blairgowrie. Gemma, whose “absolute favourite” treat is strawberry jam, has never had to pick berries to pay for her school uniform as her mum did, but she found an altogether more glamorous use for the fruit as she helped launch the World Jampionships 2012.