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Jam Today - The best Welsh Jams and Preserves on offer

Welsh jams and preserves reflect the pure welsh air and ground they were grown on, brimming with flavour, texture and colour. Jonno Mack highlights some of the best on offer on the market at the moment.


Radnor Preserves


Radnor Preserves - Hand-Cut Smoky Bourbon Marmalade
Radnor Preserves - Hand-Cut Smoky Bourbon Marmalade

Starting from a necessity to preserve freshly grown ingredients in a Welsh cottage without power (imagine that!) Radnor Preserves’ Joanna has now mastered her craft and provides artisan jams and preserves for the likes of BAFTA, the Tate Gallery, and far flung British Embassies.


Of particular note among their range is the Hand-Cut Smoky Bourbon Marmalade, which won Gold at the 2020 World Marmalade Awards. Bursting with oranges, lemons, ruby red grapefruits, filtered and oak smoked water, Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey, smoked paprika, and smoked sea salt, this powerful marmalade is gluten free and suitable for both vegetarians and vegans alike.



Penylan Preserves


Penylan Preserves - Three Fruit Marmalade
Penylan Preserves - Three Fruit Marmalade

With all ingredients locally grown and sourced – as well as being chopped and stirred by hand – Clare Williams’ range of 25 (and counting) jams, marmalades, chutneys, and preserves come from Cardiff with love.


Penylan’s Three Fruit Marmalade was a Gold award winner at the 2020 World Marmalade Championships. A delightfully simple recipe consisting of just sugar, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, water, and pectin powder, Clare testifies that the Three Fruit is: “A lovely way to wake up, the marmalade is sweet but zingy. One of my favourites, and a favourite with many of my returning customers.



Pen y Bryn


Pen y Bryn - Honey Marmalade
Pen y Bryn - Honey Marmalade

In the 1930s, a swarm of bees set upon a plum tree near the Edwards family farmhouse – kickstarting a beekeeping tradition that has passed down the generations to this day. This family duty eventually fell to Carys aged 12 and now with years of experience behind her, Pen y Bryn is home to many a nectar of the honey gods.


2020 marked a move to a facility with British Retail Consortium accreditation, with Carys pioneering entirely unique experiments of the honey kind. In spite of the obvious problems posed to much of the industry that particular year, it nevertheless proved a fruitful one for Pen y Bryn – with their intriguing Honey Marmalade concoction taking home a Great Taste award! An unusual balancing of flavours that simply must be tasted to be believed.



Celtic Preserves


Celtic Preserves - Strawberry & Prosecco Jam
Celtic Preserves - Strawberry & Prosecco Jam

In the shadow of the Brecon Beacons in Carmarthenshire, Celtic Preserves are taking the Welsh jams, chutneys, marmalades, sauces, and mustards scene to bold new heights. A balance of traditional recipes with a flair for new ideas has meant that Celtic Preserves is a real up-and-coming name to keep stock of in your cupboard.


With summer fast approaching here in Wales, one tantalising pick from Celtic Preserves’ colourful portfolio is the Strawberry & Prosecco Jam. Dreamt up to balance the indulgent dryness of everyone’s favourite party starter, with the delectable sweetness of locally sourced berries – this is a favourite of the warmer months so be sure to proactively procure a few jars if you want to join the inquisitive!



Welsh Lady


Welsh Lady - Apple & Cinnamon Curd
Welsh Lady - Apple & Cinnamon Curd

Almost 60 years ago, Dio and Marion Jones set about founding Welsh Lady Preserves in Pwllheli, North Wales. Fast forward to the present day and Welsh Lady is now a second and third generation-run establishment, thanks to John Jones, his wife Carol, and their daughter Hannah. They’re proud of using traditional methods, including cooking in copper-bottomed open boiling pans for an authentically homemade taste to their offerings.


In those almost six decades, Welsh Lady has grown accustomed to being the belle of the ball – including being crowned Supreme Champion twice at the Great Taste Awards. One of these winners was the Apple & Cinnamon Curd, with Welsh Lady recommending a taste on “freshly baked bread, toast or waffles” or “mixed with yoghurt and topped with fresh berries for a quick and delicious dessert”.



Calon Lân


Calon Lân - Raspberry Preserve
Calon Lân - Raspberry Preserve

Handmade in North Wales’ Pwllheli on the Llŷn in small batches, Calon Lân’s range of preserves are all crafted according to traditional recipes. Their self-professed aim is to “create the homemade eating experience” and it’s one that we think they’ve perfected for all who have the pleasure of tasting their offerings!


Our pick of the bunch is the Raspberry Preserve, a delectably simple spread made from just four ingredients (Sugar, Raspberries, Fruit Pectin, and Citric Acid). You can start your day with a smile knowing you’re indulging in locally sourced Welsh raspberries for a bright and summery way to start your day in these warmer months (or even a tasty snack later on)!



Farmers Food at Home


Farmers Food at Home - Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
Farmers Food at Home - Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

When Anne-Marie Harries started selling jars of homemade jams, chutneys, and preserves over the counter of her family pub, she couldn’t have imagined the journey that would eventually wind up with the founding of Farmers Food at Home. After that first batch of jars sold out, the hobby became the passion project it is today. The business has gone from strength to strength, and in recent years Anne-Marie has opened a flourishing farm shop, The Paddock.


One of the highlights from their impressive portfolio is their 2018 Great Taste award winning Rhubarb and Ginger Jam. Perhaps a richer and more complex combination than others featured here, you can place full faith in the tanginess of the Ginger to wake you up in the morning!



Pantri Swswen


Pantri Swswen - Seville Orange and Welsh Cider Marmalade
Pantri Swswen - Seville Orange and Welsh Cider Marmalade

Lizzie Jones began her lifelong love of food at an early age watching, helping, and cooking with her family in their farmhouse kitchen nestled beneath Cordon Hill in Central Wales. In the early 1980s, she started experimenting with all manner of preserves and selling these locally. After a stint in Cambridgeshire, she returned to the Welsh Hills with her husband and young family and reignited her passion for preserving and baking by forming Pantri Swswen in 2012.


Winning Silver at the 2016 Marmalade Awards, Pantri Swswen’s Seville Orange and Welsh Cider Marmalade is another combination effort that deserves a place on your cupboard shelf these summer months. Traditionally chunky cut Seville oranges are complemented by a Maldwyn Dry Cider, sourced locally from a farmhouse supplier in the nearby Mid Wales village of Berriew.



Little Grandma’s Kitchen


Little Grandma’s Kitchen - Lemon Curd
Little Grandma’s Kitchen - Lemon Curd

As the name suggests, Little Grandma’s Kitchen takes inspiration from the matriarchs of a typical Welsh homestead – with Eliza Whitcher’s original recipe book passed down to the titular Lilian Ruth Compton and onto the present generations of the family.


The treasured family secrets of the Kitchen are perhaps best exemplified by the Lemon Curd, made from an original recipe passed down from Aunt Effie (officially Ethel Mary Whitcher Compton). Aunt Effie’s recipe has stood the test of time, resulting in “a rich, creamy luxury Curd, great on toast, in cakes, topping for ice cream, drizzled into plain yoghurt” or even if you’re feeling mischievous “straight off the spoon”.



The Preservation Society


The Preservation Society - Blissfully Blackcurrant Jam
The Preservation Society - Blissfully Blackcurrant Jam

Like so many other family businesses highlighted here The Preservation Society’s Angharad grew up a farmer’s daughter in the Welsh Valleys making preserves with her Mum and Grandmother. There’s a real emphasis on local seasonal ingredients from the Wye Valley at The Preservation Society, including a dedicated network of “Swap Croppers” like Paul Gowen – who provides Lord Lambourne apples from a tree his dad planted 50 years ago.


A breast cancer diagnosis in December 2014 didn’t stop Angharad on her journey with The Preservation Society, using her platform as a message of hope through the Blissfully Blackcurrant Jam. A 2016 and 2020 Great Taste award winner, money from every jar sold is donated to the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff – with Angharad raising over £14,000 and counting so far.


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