This year’s Tallest Jelly Competition was won by an entry from Little Melton Primary School. They combined jelly with cous cous to form ‘bricks’, which allowed them to stack up to a final height of 65cm.
A similar approach was taken by Flegg High School, who tried to bolster their cous cous & jelly bricks with uncooked spaghetti. However using larger smoother bricks they suffered from a lack of friction and their jelly tower could only reach 52cm. Tunstead Primary School also used spaghetti to hold up their jelly tower, claiming third place with a 34cm tall construction.
Using other foods to strengthen the structure is in the rules of the competition. Many foods contain ingredients that help maintain the appropriate structure or texture. The jelly judges were armed with spoons to check that everything used in the jellies was edible, even if they became unrecognisable as jellies. Biscuits and sponge cake were used by Sir John Leeman School to try to improve the structure, with varying degrees of success. The Avenues team ‘Jelly Bellies’ tried carrots but these slid out of the jelly and so their jelly could only reach 20cm.
All the jelly teams had to produce a workbook detailing their thinking behind their creations and how they decided on their favourite designs. Tunstead Primary School pupils were awarded the prize for Best Workbook by Jelly Judge Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive of the Institute of Physics, who was impressed with the methodology and scientific process captured in the workbook.
Despite the planning, experimentation and hard work documented by all of the teams in their workbooks, some of the jellies didn’t quite work out. Some didn’t cope with the late summer sun (jelly melts at 35°C). A normal jelly struggles to reach 10cm without falling, and for some teams this was very much the case as their creations wobbled, tippled and finally toppled into messy puddles.
Mattishall Primary, however, won the Best Overall Jelly prize for their jelly, as it was deemed to be the one most in the spirit of the competition. Although only officially reaching 13cm, it’s perfect shape and “most pleasing wobble” in the words of jelly judges Ken Farquhar and Phil Smith merited the prize.
Read more on the 2013 Tallest Jelly competition on the Norwich Evening News website and catch the Mustard TV report too.
The Tallest Jelly Competition, now in its eighth year, was held as part of the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food & Drink Festival at The Forum in Norwich on Friday 27th September.