I'm a big jam fan and of all jams, marmalade is my ultimate favorite. It was an acquired taste, but is now what makes me happy when I can sit in the sun on a quiet Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and hot, buttered toast. I've tasted many in my day. Here are my top picks with a few recs I've received from others lately.
Clearbrook is a new find. A large jar at nearly twice the capacity of other's that I like, it boasts a rich, bittersweet taste (the added grapefruit?) and is easy to like. It's an American winner.
Paddington Bear & Marmalade
Apparently marmalade's popularity rises and falls in Britain depending on whether children are reading the book or seeing the movie about Paddington Bear. This famous, diminutive bear, who came to life in Micheal Bond's 1958 book, loves marmalade most of all: "Paddington arrives as a stowaway coming from "Darkest Peru", sent by his Aunt Lucy (one of his only known relatives aside from an Uncle Pastuzo who gave Paddington his hat) who has gone to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. He claims, "I came all the way in a lifeboat, and ate marmalade. Bears like marmalade."
- Dundee Orange Marmalade - $16
My first favorite marmalade, which used to come in collectible white glass jars, this is bitter Seville orange jam that I first wrote up in 2006: "Perhaps it's the thick cut of the oranges themselves and the sticky, gooey consistency which you have to wrestle out of the jar. We like Dundee when it gets really dry, sugary and old."
After Dundee, I fell in love with Tip Tree and could only love the Thick Cut Tawny. Again, not a sickly sweet mess, this is a classic British marmalade that you can enjoy on toast after toast.
While not as thick and dry as the British marmalades, June Taylor's are an excellent interpretation with a distinctly fresh fruit California twist. The blood oranges keep it on the bitter side and you will be deliciously pleased.
If you like a sweeter, gooyer marmalade, Stonewall is your best bet. Distinctly American and more mainstream, these guys make great, super high quality foods and they get my approval.
I haven't had this one yet, but it's been spoken of highly and it looks VERY good. I like the mixture of bergamot and lemon for tang: "My version of this classic sour orange marmalade blends in a small amount of bergamot orange for its perfume, and Meyer lemon, which has some orange parentage, for complexity."
This is a recommendation and also from an old British purveyor of jams. Frank Cooper's coarse cut is dark, thick and bitter. It is one of many styles and has even been enjoyed by James Bond and The Queen. Warning, it does have fructose syrup in it, so it's not totally pure.