I’m continuing on with my Orcadian adventures today – I hopped over on another ferry, to Shapinsay for an afternoon to meet with Glynis Leslie – owner of the popular Orkney Isle Preserves.
Glynis started making preserves in 1986 in her own kitchen, with just three family recipes to her repertoire (Rhubarb and Strawberry jams, and Beetroot Chutney). She now has over 30 different products and these are all made by Glynis and other staff member Lindsay in a converted bothy.
Glynis tries to ensure that as much Orkney-grown produce goes into her jams and chutneys, and works with other local food and drink producers to use their products. Her newest lemon and orange marmalade uses Orkney Gin (very tasty, I’ve been enjoying it on toast for breakfast). Smoked garlic from the Island Smokery goes into a delicious tomato chutney. I was able to try a few other tasters of jams, chutneys and everything was so flavoursome. I especially liked a Christmas jam which included the addition of cherry brandy!
Glynis takes pride in the visual branding of her jars. Many of them have well-known Orcadian attractions or scenes on their labels and they are very eye-catching. They are great additions to hampers, which are sold in Judith Glue (Kirkwall or Inverness) as well as used in hotels and restaurants all over Orkney. She even does personalised jars for wedding favours or birthday gifts.
Despite it blowing a gale on Shapinsay, the hospitality and friendliness shown to me by Glynis and Lindsay was really appreciated, and I was able to take away some jars for us and for Christmas presents!