– World’s Original Marmalade Awards & Festival 2 & 3 March 2013 kicks off National Marmalade Week 2-9 March 2013 –

“Ever wondered whether your homemade marmalade is a cut above the rest? Enter the Marmalade Awards and we’ll tell you!”

That’s the call from organisers of the prestigious preserves contest, held at Dalemain in Cumbria, which attracts thousands of entries from all over the world. Everyone who sends in a jar gets their marmalade tasted by a panel of expert judges and then gets sent a personalised mark card with feedback on how the marmalade can be improved – or if they are lucky a bronze, silver or gold award! Judges for 2013 include Pam Corbin and the WI.

The overall winners of the competition get their marmalade sold at the iconic grocer, Fortnum and Mason in London.  Their recipe will be carefully reproduced and sold on those revered shelves with a percentage of profits going to charity.

Entries to the 2013 awards are now open and jars from every type of marmalade maker are welcomed with categories catering for children, serious artisan and commercial producers, B&B owners and even those abroad in the international class.  Homemade categories for the 2013 contest include Forces marmalade where the Army, Navy and RAF are invited to pit their marmalade against each other and the heritage category, for recipes handed down through generations, as well as one for marmalade making novices sponsored by the Jam Jar Shop.

Last year over 1,700 people entered the competition from Alaska to the British Virgin Islands, from the Highlands to Cornwall. Pensioner Hazel Rushton scooped the top prize in the homemade competition and Cranfield Foods beat off tough competition to top the artisan contest. Both now have their preserves stocked at Fortnum and Mason.

Organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh said: “Making marmalade is part of our cultural heritage and our awards celebrate that in all its glory. I’m delighted to say that signs are boding well for another busy competition with entries already arriving.

“In these more austere of times, when cash is tight, making marmalade is one pastime where you can be guaranteed to save money, have fun and create something that is delicious to eat at any time of day.”

If you enter the awards, you also help raise money for two worthwhile charities, Hospice at Home and Action Medical Research for children. All amateur entry fees go direct to charity – since the contest was launched eight years ago by Jane, £90,000 has been raised.

Big names supporting the event include Mackays, the last remaining family-owned marmalade producer in Scotland. Mackays is backing the Heritage category which this year will be thrown open to many of the UK’s Historic Houses. Owners will be challenged to dig into their archive and make a jar of their ancestors’ marmalade.

And the most famous marmalade lover of them all, Paddington Bear presides over the Festival itself making guest appearances. Visitors to the Marmalade Festival (2 & 3 March 2013), held at Dalemain Mansion, near Penrith in the Lake District, get the chance to view the entries, taste over 200 different marmalades, attend workshops, lectures and even a marmalade church service.

The event kicks off National Marmalade Week (2-9 March 2013), overseen by the awards’ organisers, which encourages people to try, buy or make marmalade.

Closing date for entries is 17 February 2013.

Last changed: Sep 22 2016 at 1:26 PM