Did you know that Dalemain Mansion and historic gardens, near Ullswater and Penrith is also the centre of the world for Marmalade?
Current owner, Jane Hasell-McCosh founded the World’s Original Marmalade Awards to celebrate her love for this orange preserve 12 years ago, and since then it has spread internationally, attracting entries all over the world including Japan, Australia, South Korea, India and the Czech Republic. If you visit Dalemain’s shop, you can taste a selection of marmalades that have been officially named the finest in the world, as well as Dalemain’s own range, which includes a 17th century recipe from the Dalemain archives.
This year’s competition is now open for entries and the organisers are calling on 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. 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. The competition deadline is 10th February, with the festival and awards taking place on 18th & 19th March 2017.
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.
Although the ‘Mackays Seville Orange’ category is consistently the most popular, The Awards 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.
Both the Artisan and Homemade Award competitions are now open and Dalemain hopes to receive record entry numbers, encouraging all marmalade makers, from expert to first timer, to 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.
For the full list of categories and collection points, visit www.marmaladeawards.com.