January is a special time for marmalade makers, as it marks the height of the Seville orange’s winter season. For a few short months, the fruit can be found in shops all over the country and indeed the world. As the World’s Original Marmalade Competition opens, we are calling for the nation’s best marmalade makers to take advantage of the season; to roll up their sleeves, get their pans out and send their entries in. The competition deadline is 10th February, with the festival and awards taking place on 18th & 19th March.

The Seville orange is commonly considered the King of Oranges when it comes to marmalade, owing to its distinct bitter flavour and complex fragrance. Sevilles are shipped all over the world to allow everyone to make the most of this window and enjoy the art of marmalade making.

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Jane Hasell-McCosh, founder of the Awards, says: “When I started this competition, I knew that it had to take place at this time of year, as the Seville is such an important part of making marmalade. I am delighted that one of the successes of the Awards has been the championing of the citrus industry, and with the competition growing year by year, we are hopeful that 2017 will be the best yet for this magnificent fruit.”

Although the ‘Mackays Seville Orange’ category is consistently the most popular, we also have a whole host of other categories for those who prefer a different type of marmalade. The ‘Any Citrus’ gives lovers of Grapefruit, Kumquat, Lemon, Clementine and more their chance to shine, whilst there are a number of exciting new categories for 2017 including ‘Gardener’s Marmalade’ for the green fingered and ‘Octogenarian’s Marmalade’ for the over-80s experts.

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Dalemain are delighted to announce that Ave Maria in Seville are sending a special delivery of organic oranges to celebrate the 2017 Marmalade Awards, where they will be sold to raise money for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland. Last year’s Awards saw winners from Australia, Japan and Bali, all of whom made the trip to Dalemain for the festival, and organisers hope to welcome even more international entrants following the success of the 2016 Australian Marmalade festival.

Both the Artisan and Homemade Award competitions are now open and we would love to receive record entry numbers. So whether you’re an expert or a first timer, please do have a go! For those who do not want to post their marmalade, collection points are being created up and down the country, including Mackays factory in Scotland, Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly and the Carlisle Cathedral shop.

The Awards & Festival have raised over £200,000 for Hospice care, and hope to significantly add to this amount in 2017, with the full donation for every homemade entry going directly to charity