Everyone jammed into Mojo Old Bank Arcade for the jam-off, craning to see the damson plum jam made by Simon’s partner (Catherine) and the raspberry jam made by Craig. Big name judges for the event were in attendance – Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central and Simon Gault currently a judge on MasterChef New Zealand.
The contestants, very nervous by now each introduced their jam – plums picked from the 20-year old tree in the neighbour’s back yard with special ingredient Cointreau added into the jam vs fresh raspberries brought from local small business Julian’s Berry Farm in Whakatane by Craig’s mother-in-law and ‘made into jam with love’ when Craig is up there visiting and taking a 20 minute break from work to stir the jam!
The crowd leaned in.
The judges tasted and in a very MasterChef-style review, Simon Gault gave the verdict. He reported that the raspberry jam had a ‘fantastic texture, simply outstanding’ and commented that the pips were soft, no bitter aftertaste and didn’t get stuck in your teeth. Just wonderful on a piece of white bread.
He reported that the plum jam’s texture was not so good, a bit runny, but the ‘taste was surprising’, in fact he could imagine having it with a piece of ham. The addition of Cointreau really made the jam something special.
And the winner was announced – Catherine’s damson plum jam!
It was a great little break from the office and it was amazing to see how many people came along – it wasn’t all Xero staff either – family and friends, our travel agent, a Xero Board member and I’m sure I saw a couple of Xero customers I know there as well! Fantastic event Catherine – well done organising it (and starting the whole thing!) and thanks to the other bakers and jam makers who provided delicious treats for the crowd to taste. Everyone seems keen to do it next year!