Friday, September 22, 2006



Do you like gold with your marmalade? Would paying $US15 for one spoonful make you laugh, or would it make you nod eagerly?

British food giants now regularly turn out publicity grabbing dishes and delicacies to mark this anniversary or that billion dollar holiday or special day. Easter eggs worth tens of thousands of pounds or the $100 Wagyu beef and foi gras sandwich are just a couple of the recents.

Now comes the world's most expensive, ahh, marmalade :

Duerr's, a family-run Manchester firm....has broken its budget to make this superlative version of its signature spread ­ marmalade ­ to mark its 125th anniversary.

The commemorative marmalade costs £5,000 for a 1kg jar. According to the makers, that is the equivalent of £11 per mouthful and £76 per slice of toast ­ significantly beyond the reach of marmalade's most famous fan, Paddington Bear.

The £1,100 hand-crafted crystal jar contains £3,450 worth of 62-year-old Dalmore whisky, £348 worth of vintage Pol Roger champagne, and £120 of edible gold which gives the marmalade a glint when it catches a ray of sunlight.

The makers had the tricky task of ensuring the expensive alcohol did not evaporate during the cooking process, that the gold leaf did not become lumpy, and that great care was taken to cool the mixture, as it could have cracked the jar.

Marmalade arrived in Britain in 1945, from Portugal. For some two hundred years, it was the preserve of the upper classes, until a recipe was published in a cookbook.

Winston Churchill loved his marmalade, and liked to pair it up with some breakfast champagne. Apparently.

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