A SWAY jam maker has won a top award for a new product that she decided to make after meeting a little girl who was allergic to butter.
Jennifer Williams, of Naked Jam, was demonstrating her products at the Fluffetts Farm shop in Wimborne when the girl told her she loved lemon curd but could not eat it because of her allergy.
Jennifer told the A&T: “I said to her, ‘I’m going to go away and try and make you something.’ I started experimenting and managed to create a curd without butter. I was so pleased as it is the first of its kind.”
Her coconut and lime curd took two stars at the Hampshire Fare Great Taste Awards which are described as the Oscars of the local food industry.
Over 500 judges comprising chefs, restaurateurs, food writers, buyers and producers, took part in blind tastings of artisan and speciality products.
Fewer than 3% of products were awarded the top grading of three stars for extraordinarily tasty food and drink. The next ranking of two stars is given to fewer than 15% of products rated as outstanding.
Delighted Jennifer (52) said: “I was really chuffed because it is a brand new product that has not been out long. The comments from the judges were really lovely. One said it was really coco nutty, while another said how smooth it was.”
She has just returned from a business trip to China where she was making an advert for their equivalent of John Lewis which is called Besto.
“As I have won so many awards they wanted me to endorse their stores”, she explained. “It was fantastic trip. I sampled some amazing food although I have to say the 100-year-old egg is one experience I won’t be repeating.”
Her Naked Jam is going to be on sale in Hong Kong as she is just finalising a deal to export it there.
The former tour manager and EU project manager began making jam at her home in Barton in 2011 with the ethos of using no artificial colourings, flavourings, preserves or setting agents.
She obtains her ingredients by foraging or sourcing from local suppliers.
Now operating from an industrial unit in Sway, she produces several thousand jars a year and supplies some of the top hotels in the country.
“It is just amazing to think how much it has grown – it’s wonderful,” she added.
Another New Forest success at the Great Taste Awards was Hockey’s Farm Shop near Ringwood, which was given two stars for its rare breed British Lop pork belly and hand of pork.