Essex Food & Drink
Jars of marmalade on the conveyor belt
Local Producer: Tiptree Jam Factory
From your own kitchen cupboard to hotels, cruise ships, and top London food stores, Tiptree conserves are famous around the world.
Tiptree is famous around the world for its production of preserves. The company was established in 1885 when Arthur Charles Wilkin joined with two friends to make high quality "conserves" at Tiptree.
The fruits used include strawberries, plums, damsons, quince, medlars and mulberries. There's a wide range of flavours, an organic range, savoury range, jellies, conserves and teas. The ingredients are grown locally on one of their three Essex farms or come from a trusted overseas source.
All of the fruit is of the highest standards in every case.
Situated to the east of the Essex village of Tiptree, the site also has a jam shop, tea room, museum and factory which all have a traditional feel.
The production of Christmas puddings begins early in the year in Tiptree.
The puddings are all hand wrapped and packed individually. The staff are all well trained and very quick at their job. The puddings are then boxed up and shipped all over the world.
In 1999 organic Christmas puddings were introduced and are made with natural ingredients.
Making the conserve
Firstly the fruits are sorted through individually by hand to look for imperfections.
Marmalade and jam production vats
Once the fruit is sorted it is mixed with sugar and cooked in small batched in the copper lined boiling pans (they have a stainless steel coating) to produce a rich fruity conserve.
Only where necessary do they add pectin to help them set and citric acid or sodium citrate to adjust the natural acidity of the fruit. There are no artificial colours or preservatives in Tiptree products; the factory is also nut-free.
Once the preserve is mixed, it is put into jars on a production line. There are rigorous quality checks made on the preserves.
These include the lids being attached properly, the quality of the jam being checked for loose pips and marks on the jar.
Each batch of marmalade is tasted
The jars are then labelled and this will be checked to make sure that they are placed correctly on the jar. They are then packaged and either stored in a warehouse waiting for delivery or sent off to their destination.
The Medlar is one of the last fruits picked on the estate in Tiptree, to be made into a jelly. This is because it needs the frost to get to it in order to soften the fruit to give a better flavour. Looking at the fruit you can see it is hard and resembles a rose hip.
But when the jelly is produced and after it has been through the production processes, it is a deep red and tastes delicious.
last updated: 08/07/2008 at 10:41
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