Whareama couple Sally Duckworth and Alisdair Ross have conquered the world of marmalade, taking two gold medals at the World Marmalade Championships in Cumbria, United Kingdom, on Saturday.
The competition, known as the World's the Original Awards, this year attracted more than 2500 entries from across Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, as well as the Middle East and Australia and New Zealand.
Only one entrant managed more than two golds at the event.
The couple make marmalade as Marmalada, on their property at the historic 1884 Langdale Homestead.
This was the second year Sally and Alisdair have entered the competition.
The award-winning marmalades are Kumquat Marmalade with Vanilla, and Grapefruit Marmalade with Mint and White Rum.
"We asked a bar manager what he would make with grapefruit," Sally said.
"And we thought we'd take the idea for a cocktail and make a marmalade from it."
Marmalada marmalades are often designed to complement meats, such as pork sausages -- or cheese.
The couple had success last year with tangelo marmalades designed to complement the local Cumbrian sausages, and appropriate English cheeses, in an effort that saw them win a silver and a gold.
That year, they travelled to the world championships, finding the environment "very English" -- being held at Dalemain Mansin and Gardens with a roaring fire to take the edge of the English spring.
They both work in Wellington and divide their time between there and Whareama, where they bought some property about 10 years ago that has a variety of citrus trees.
"We're both into food and entertaining and Sally's a particularly good cook," Alisdair said.
Sally started with quince pastes and jellies and jams, before deciding to major on marmalade. The couple do their best to make creations with a tasty twist.
They develop their products with the help of a panel of chefs, food judges and retailers.
"People's palates are changing," Sally said.
"Rather than having something in your cupboard that stays there a year, you think 'I'm having people over for lunch; what can I have that's special?"
Alisdair grew up in a home where lots of preserves were made, and the gold medal marmalades were made in a pot that had been given to Sally's mother in the 1950s, passed on from her mother's grandmother.
"It's one of those beaten old pots that have been stirred with plenty of stories."
Information on Marmalada's creations can be found online at marmalada.co.nz