Not content with trouncing England in the Ashes in 2018, we have received the annual ‘team’ of Australian marmalades for the 2018 Marmal-Ashes competition. A group of marmalade makers from Buninyong, Victoria send their marmalades to the Dalemain Marmalade Awards and Festival every year with the aim of taking home the Marmal-Ashes trophy.

The Marmal-Ashes have been held at Dalemain since 2011 and are as fiercely fought with spoon and orange as the Ashes are with bat and ball. Each country puts forward their best eleven marmalades to be judged by the experts at the World’s Original Marmalade Festival in the public rooms at Dalemain Mansion, which this year takes place on 18th March.

2017 was a competition as nail-biting as any seen at Lord’s, but in the end there could be only one winner and to the sorrow of the home team they were narrowly ‘pipped’ to the post, as the Australians emerged victorious. The English team hope to regain the trophy this year, kept safely under lock and key at Buninyong court house, and have prepared their best marmalades yet to meet the challenge.

The Marmal-Ashes were founded by Marmalade Awards patron Russell Luckock, who decided after the 2010 Australian Ashes defeat to beat the English at their own game – marmalade! Since then they have sent a team every year, with the Australians taking home four wins to England’s three.

The pressure is on in 2018 with a second contest, the Commonwealth Competition also taking place on 18th March. This competition is in celebration of Commonwealth day and the winning marmalade will be produced commercially by Thursday Cottage and sold in Partridges and online at www.royalcollectionshop.co.uk. Entries have come in from as far afield as Canada, Kenya and India, and although the Australians may have a head start as they proudly host the sister marmalade festival in South Australia each year, their victory is by no means assured!

Judges for the Marmal-Ashes and Commonwealth competition will include Australian chef Dan Lepard, The Deputy High Commissioner of India Ambassador Patnaik, CEO of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council Richard Burge and Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria Claire Hensman. With both countries hoping to field their best team yet, they should be in for a treat. Make sure to visit Dalemain at 11am on 18th March to see the judging!

For further information about the Awards and Festival please visit https://www.dalemain.com/marmalade-festival/  and https://www.dalemain.com/australia-versus-england/