Event celebrating 10 sticky years & ‘renaissance in marmalade making’ with new trends & ingredients
A QUIRKY British festival celebrating the glories of good marmalade will be marking its 10th anniversary year in 2015 – and the country’s preserves makers are being urged to jar up their marmalade to take part.
Over the last decade, organisers at The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and Festival have seen a renaissance in marmalade making with more people making, eating and cooking with it than seen in recent times. Since the event was first held in 2005, entries have risen sharply, with over 2,000 jars received from over 30 countries across the globe at this year’s Festival. The 2015 Awards & Festival, which takes place on the weekend of 28th February and 1st March, is expected to be even bigger and better, reflecting the nation’s renewed passion for the sweet stuff.
Good quality Seville oranges are now easier to source as supermarkets react to customer demand and preserves makers – homemade, artisan and commercial – continue to push the culinary boundaries by exploring unusual marmalade trends and tastes.
Jane Hasell-McCosh, founder of the Awards, said: “We’re seeing fruity, spicy, alcoholic and downright original ingredients, such as seaweed and beer, being combined with citrus to make modern marmalades. Of course people still adore spreading the traditional thick-cut Seville on their toast but our awards celebrate marmalade in all its sticky and diverse, delicious glory.
“Ten years ago I started this event as I was worried that our wonderful tradition of marmalade making and eating was becoming less popular. I’m delighted over the last decade there’s been a renaissance in marmalade making and am looking forward to tasting entries to our 2015 awards.”
To celebrate the Awards’ 10th anniversary year, there will be an extended number of competition categories to enter and a network of collection points across the UK for people to drop their entries off, including the Paddington shop at Paddington Station, marmalade maestros Mackays near Dundee and Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly.
Fortnum & Mason will be selling a special selection box of previous Marmalade Awards winners, as well as stocking the top 2015 competition marmalades. Marmalade will even be appearing on the big screen in the forthcoming movie ‘Paddington’, due for release later this year (2014).
The 10th anniversary year celebrations will also extend to the Marmalade Awards & Festival event itself, held at Dalemain Mansion, near Penrith in the Lake District (28th Feb/1st March). Visitors will get the chance to view the entries, taste over 500 marmalades, attend workshops, lectures and tutored marmalade and wine tastings. Plans are afoot for a marmalade run, a marmalade church service and of course the most famous marmalade lover of them all, Paddington Bear presiding over the 10th anniversary year Magnificent Marmalade Tea Party.
Entries to the awards will be accepted from the 1st October 2014 (see website www.marmaladeawards.com for details) and the closing date for entries is 15th February 2015. Everyone who enters a jar gets their preserve tasted and judged and sent a personalised mark card with feedback on how the marmalade can be improved – or if they are lucky a gold, silver or bronze award. The double gold star winner gets their marmalade made by a commercial kitchen and it is then stocked at Fortnum & Mason – and 50p per jar goes to charity.
The Awards & Festival are sponsored by Mackays, Mrs Bridges, Fortnum & Mason, Paddington and the wine merchants Laithwaite’s, all UK family-owned businesses. The awards have raised more than £150,000 over the last ten years for Hospice at Home, hospices around the world, Action Medical Research for children and Marie Curie Scotland. All the proceeds from the amateur entry fees go direct to these charities.
The event will be kicking off National Marmalade Week (28th February -7th March 2015), with a ‘Marmalade Peel of Bells’ that will resound around the country starting with hand bells at Dalemain and ending with the Great Bell of Bow, of Oranges & Lemons nursery rhyme fame. National Marmalade Week, overseen by the awards’ organisers, encourages people to try, buy or make marmalade.
Twitter – @MarmaladeAwards
Facebook – WorldMarmaladeAwards