Value for Money
Tesco Value Breakfast Marmalade
€0.69 for 454g ,€1.51 per kg
At 69 cent a jar, this is the cheapest of the marmalades we tried – and is six times cheaper than the dearest option. Surprisingly, then, it is not vile. It will add a fairly harmless sweetness to your toast but don’t be expecting anything by way of orangey goodness here. To be fair to Tesco, it has managed to squeeze the merest hint of citrus flavours into the mix but the sugar quickly kills it. It has the texture of slightly curdled jelly – if you can imagine such a thing. Now that might sound awful but it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference when it’s spread. We’d not be rushing back to buy it but we have tasted worse.
Star rating: ***
Real Irish Food Company
€3.39 for 340g, €9.97 per kg
We may well be rushing back to buy this mind you. It is rather splendid and has all the characteristics of a great marmalade. It is sweet but not excessively so, and has a delicious citrusy tang with 35 per cent of each jar made up of oranges and a further 10 per cent lemons. We also liked the little slivers of orange peel in the mix and the fact that it comes from an Irish company. We were less pleased by the price – although it is not that excessive – and the size of the jar. At 340g it was the smallest jar we tried. The bottom line is quality, and when it comes to that measure, this isn’t found wanting.
Verdict: Pretty delicious
Star rating: ****
Aldi Grandessa Irish Marmalade
€1.49 for 350g, €4.25 per kg
Products like this are the man reason Aldi has been wiping the shopfloor with its rivals in recent years and has grown at a much faster rate than
any of the other players in the Irish market. It is made by a small producer in west Cork and is absolutely lovely. Made with oranges, grapefruit and lemons, it has a tanginess and complexity that other brands struggle to come close to. We liked the texture and the manner in which it melted on our hot buttered toast. While it is nowhere near as cheap as the other own-brand options, it is worlds apart in quality.
Verdict: Wonderful and great value
Star rating: *****
Fruitfi eld Old Time Irish
€2.89 for 454, €6.36 per kg
There is whiskey in the jar but not so much that you will be starting your day like some class of latter-day Brendan Behan. The whiskey seems more of a gimmick than anything else, and while it does add a tiny something to the mix, the fruit and the sugar are the dominant ingredients. And we’d be concerned the presence of whiskey will allow Fruitfield to charge more for it than their regular product. The peel was on the chewy side but the actual jam had a nice smooth texture.
Verdict : Alright but nothing special
Star rating: ***