The 15th World’s Original Marmalade Awards have closed for 2020, and as storms raged across the UK the judges took shelter at Dalemain Mansion to select the world’s best marmalades.
The awards received record entries from over 40 countries worldwide. This international passion for preserves has fostered worldwide friendships, and demonstrates what can be achieved when shared dreams go global. The competition now spans every continent except Antarctica – and organisers see this as a challenge for 2021!
As well as being hugely popular in Japan, Australia and Europe, the competition now receives entries from Argentina, Cameroon, Lebanon, Senegal and Kuwait. This has introduced to the Awards the huge array of citrus fruit on offer. Alongside classic Seville, lemon and lime entries, judges have been delighted to taste entries made from daidai, yuzu, kinkan, buddah’s hand and amanatsu fruit, often home-grown in the entrant’s back garden.
Marmalade makers in 2020 have also been demonstrating that marmalade is not just a preserve for toast. As well as traditional flavours, Homemade Award entrants have branched out with any number of exciting ingredients including cucumber, pineapple, sangria, champagne, butterscotch, bay leaf, edible gold and – most surprising of all – Japanese knotweed!
Awards founder Jane Hasell-McCosh says: “Seeing the marmalade arrive is always exciting, but this year it has been especially wonderful, with entries from so many new countries. Marmalade is such a unique product – both comfortingly, quintessentially British, and unendingly innovative and surprising. Despite receiving thousands of entries, I can confidently say that no two jars are the same! I cannot wait to welcome the winners to Dalemain to celebrate their talent, enthusiasm and dedication.”
Although the standards have risen there can only be one winner, and the wait now begins for the announcement of the 2020 ‘Best in Show’ Double Gold homemade marmalade. This will be made public at the Dalemain Marmalade Festival on 14th March at Dalemain Mansion, Cumbria. The winning marmalade will be commercially produced by sponsors Thursday Cottage and sold at Fortnum & Mason and Dalemain.
One of the most popular categories, the Thursday Cottage Commonwealth Competition, will be judged live at the Festival, and visitors can see which country seizes the marmalade title. Donna Smith, director of Thursday Cottage, says: “We are delighted to sponsor the Commonwealth category of The World’s Original Marmalade Awards again. This class attracts entries from marmalade makers who often live in warmer climates where they can pick their own citrus fruit to create some unusual recipes.”
Visitors to the Marmalade Festival will be treated to a celebration of all things orange. There will be talks, lectures, videos, cookery demonstrations, juggling workshops, a human fruit machine, a marmalade cat contest and much more! Taste over 1000 marmalades, have a go on a juice making bicycle, learn how to make the perfect lemon marmalade and try the finest selection of citrus gin and sake. To find out more, visit https://www.dalemain.com/marmalade-festival/