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3 of the best local food producers from Essex

Wilkin & Sons Ltd have a range of 17 marmalades to suit every taste Credit: Wilkin & Sons Ltd
Wilkin & Sons Ltd have a range of 17 marmalades to suit every taste Credit: Wilkin & Sons Ltd

We may not be the biggest of counties but our excellent home-grown brands are up there with the very best the UK has to offer.

Great British Life: The Earl & Countess of Wessex visit Wilkin & Sons, Tiptree Credit: Doug Blanks Caption:The Earl & Countess of Wessex visit Wilkin & Sons, Tiptree Credit: Doug Blanks Caption:

WILKIN & SONS

The Wilkin family have been farming at Tiptree since 1757, and have been making quality preserves using their own fruit since 1885. They received their very first Royal Warrant from George V in 1911 and remain Royal Warrant holders to this day. This month the factory at Tiptree is immersed in the citrus aromas of Seville oranges as Liz Baker, Marketing Manager, explains: ‘when the oranges are simmering away, the warming citrusy, zesty smell envelopes the whole factory. We do get nice messages from the village saying that they can smell oranges, so it must be marmalade season!

‘The first marmalade we made at Tiptree was an orange fine cut back in 1891. Now we have a range of 17 marmalades to suit every taste, from sweet and tangy fine-cut varieties to strong, thick-cut, bitter marmalades. All are created using traditional recipes and the finest citrus fruits.

‘Our climate is not tropical enough to grow oranges here in Tiptree, so we buy from long-term, trusted and respected producers, specifically from the Bordas family, who we have been working with for as long as anybody remembers. We have bought these oranges from several generations of the same family and members of our purchasing team enjoy visiting the Bordas family each year.  

‘All of the oranges we use for our marmalades are hand sorted and inspected, originally, by gentlemen in flat caps. Now it’s still done in the traditional way by our staff, and we were delighted to see that when we had a Royal visit from the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, they had a go themselves and learnt how we hand sort each one. We still make our marmalade in the same way that we have for many decades, using the finest ingredients, and each batch is made with the ultimate care and attention. We are a company steeped in tradition, but we also work on sustainable initiatives on the farm and in the factory and we innovate where we need to.’

Wilkin & Sons Ltd, Factory Hill, Tiptree, CO5 0RF, 01621 815407, tiptree.com

Great British Life: Maldon Cure smoked salmon Credit: Lambton and Jackson Maldon Cure smoked salmon Credit: Lambton and Jackson

LAMBTON & JACKSON

Lambton & Jackson are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. Situated on the rural edge of Maldon, Lambton and Jackson are a boutique smokehouse dedicated to producing exquisite smoked seafood. Their smoked salmon is now critically acclaimed and a winner of multiple awards. Co-founder, Darcy Lambton, says: ‘For us there was a silver lining during the pandemic. Yes, it was a big challenge as our wholesale customer base was effectively mothballed for a period of time. However, our online business grew and now we send our products from Cornwall to Scotland and Wales. We have many loyal and regular customers who have used us for years.’ 

With a very reasonable £5.50 delivery fee to anywhere in mainland UK, it’s not surprising. Their Maldon Cure smoked salmon and Maldon Deep smoked salmon have featured on the menus of many five-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. With another award-winning sweet Juniper smoked salmon, the three types are known as The Maldon Collection.

In 2020, the business moved into a spectacular new purpose-built smokehouse facility. Darcy continues: ‘The Maldon Cure is our biggest seller, it has won the Great Taste Awards and has been sold into some of the top hotels including The Dorchester. The Maldon Deep has a longer smoking process and it’s popular with customers who like more of a robust and profound finish. The Juniper was to commemorate the Battle of Maldon. We wanted to create more of a Scandinavian-style smoked salmon. We also have a kiln roast hot smoked salmon and gradually we have developed our expertise, so we now have a cherrywood smoked salmon which has a slightly fruity finish to it. We also have a gravlax, which is a cure not a smoke, and it was highly commended at the Great British Food Awards.’

Back in 2014 when Sean Jackson and Darcy Lambton got together it was just the two of them. Now 10 years on, they’ve moved to bigger, newer premises and have a team working for them. Darcy concludes: ‘The team take immense pride and joy in what they do, knowing that the quality of what they do will be enjoyed in top hotels and restaurants both here in Essex but across the country too.’ 

Lambton & Jackson, The Barns Chigborough, Chigborough Road, Heybridge, Maldon, CM9 4RE, 01621 853710, lambtonandjackson.com

Great British Life: These newly released products are sure to be a big hit with home cooks Photo: David Loftus Recipe and styling: Libby Silbermann These newly released products are sure to be a big hit with home cooks Photo: David Loftus Recipe and styling: Libby Silbermann

MALDON SALT

Maldon Salt have been makers and merchants of salt since 1882 with a passion to create and celebrate great taste. This passion has driven the creation of two new delicious flavoured salts. Now to spice up your New Year you can enjoy their new Garlic Sea Salt – expertly blending hand harvested Maldon Sea Salt flakes with wild and roasted garlic, and a rather cool Chilli Sea Salt blended with Aleppo pepper and bird’s eye chillies. They’re so new they are not yet on the shelves. Maldon Garlic Sea Salt is available to purchase on Amazon UK and Ocado. Maldon Chilli Sea Salt is available to purchase on Amazon UK only (RRP £3.50).
The two new flavoured salts join the existing Smoked Sea Salt as part of the flavoured range, appealing to those who like to get creative in the kitchen and mix their own flavoured salts, combining Maldon Sea Salt flakes and herbs and spices to enhance the flavour of dishes. The range is ideal for those of us who like to use flavoured salts as a quick way to elevate our everyday cooking in a flash! Try the garlic salt in garlic and tarragon chicken and serve with buttery new potatoes or a tear and share garlic bread. Their Chilli Sea Salt offers a spicy aromatic taste that’s great on poached eggs and avocado, with spicy prawns or even on the rim of a margarita! You can find full details of these recipes, top tips and much more by visiting the recipe page on the Maldon Salt website maldonsalt.com/recipes-tips-blog/ 
Robert La Francesca, Commercial Director, Maldon Salt says: ‘As proud makers and merchants of salt since 1882, and known for our quality salt around the world, we are regarded by consumers as their trusted seasoning advisor. People told us they wanted to see a larger range of salts from Maldon Salt, in fact 55% of people said they would intend to buy a flavoured salt by Maldon. So, we delivered! These two exciting new flavoured salts really do offer fantastic flavour at your fingertips and now with our extended flavoured range there are even more ways to seize the seasoning.’ 
Get the Taste

 

 

Maldon Salt 
Maldon
CM9 6UZ
01621 853315
maldonsalt.com
 



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