A record number of entries from across the globe has been received for this year’s Marmalade Awards, as the event prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The Marmalade Festival takes place on February 28 and March 1 at the picturesque Dalemain Mansion near Penrith in Cumbria.
A salutation to the sticky breakfast preserve, the festival includes the always hotly contested Marmalade Awards.
And this year more than 2,600 jars have been sent in by marmalade makers from the UK but also as far afield as Australia, Canada, Japan, India, Denmark, the Bahamas and Singapore.
Entries are up across the board, from the artisan category to those tagged hotel, bed and breakfast, restaurant and junior marmalade makers.
All the awards – judged by a panel of top foodies – will be announced at 11am on February 28, with the marmalade winning the top double gold accolade going on sale at Fortnum & Mason in London.
Organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh says: “I’m delighted not only by the sheer number of entries into this year’s competition, which exceeds last year, but also by the huge take-up we’ve had in the new categories, especially the Marmalade ‘MacNab’ and ‘A Stirring of the Clans’.
“I look forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary with everyone at this year’s festival, which is made possible by our wonderful volunteers and sponsors.
“Without these people and their dedicated support of marmalade, our awards and festival wouldn’t happen.
“This year the entry numbers are up in the first timers and the children’s categories. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has entered over the last 10 years and whose love of this sticky preserve has enabled the renaissance of marmalade over the last decade.
“We must also look to the future and make sure that the oranges of Seville continue to be grown for this ever increasing market.”
A packed weekend of family-friendly activities at Dalemain will include a 10k marmalade run, workshops, an Ivan Day lecture, chef demonstrations, an artisan food market and readings of Paddington Bear.
One highlight is likely to be the visit of Paddington, the Marmalade Festival’s patron, who will be taking time out from his new career as a movie star to meet his fans.
Judging of the always hotly contested ‘MarmalAshes’ will also take place on March 1 when marmalades sent in from Australia will be pitched against those from the UK.
The event kicks off National Marmalade Week, which will begin with a ‘peel’ of bells, starting at Dalemain and to be taken up at Carlisle, Exeter and Worcester cathedrals and St Mary-le-Bow in London.
The national week, running until March 7, aims to encourage more people to buy, taste and make their own marmalade.
Find out more about the awards and festival at www.marmaladeawards.com