Winners have been announced for the 2019 Marmalade Awards, which are held annually at Dalemain Mansion in the Lake District where Walter Scott travelled from Tiptree to present an award while Pele Heydon talked to visitors about marmalade making at Thursday Cottage.

There were 3,000 entries from 40 countries in this year’s marmalade competition, but it was Beth Furnell from Flint, Wales, who claimed the grand prize of ‘Best in Show’ with her ‘Bitter Sweet’ Marmalade. There is nothing bitter about her victory, as her marmalade will now be commercially produced by Thursday Cottage and sold throughout the year, with 50p from each jar going to Hospice at Home Carlisle & North Lakeland.

Donna Smith, Director of Thursday Cottage and one of the judges of the 2019 Awards, says: “Judging marmalade is always a challenge and when I approached the room full of colourful jars of marmalade this year it seemed as daunting as ever. There were some extraordinary marmalades and the team of judges have found some worthy winners!’

Beth says: I have competed every year since winning the First Timers category in 2014, and to win Best in Show is such an amazing thrill. On receiving my first award, Dan Lepard encouraged us all to be creative and look to the artisan marmalade makers for inspiration. I love cooking with marmalade, it’s so versatile: Marmalade bread and butter pudding, marmalade mascarpone cream (delicious with homemade Christmas pud) and a savoury sauce to go with duck. Divine.’

Awards founder Jane Hasell-McCosh says: ‘It has been a joy to announce this year’s winners, who are all masters in the world of preserve making, and fantastic to welcome people to Dalemain from all around the globe. Every year the number of international entrants and visitors grows, and we are so privileged in such polarising times to be part of something that truly unites people. A love of marmalade, citrus, recipes and food heritage has brought together so many people and it is truly wonderful to welcome friends old and new and to see our marmalade community grow.’

As well as Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands, the competition also welcomed winners to Cumbria from countries including Austria, Canada, Malta and Hong Kong! A list of the category winners can be seen on: www.marmaladeawards.com

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Jules & Sharpie