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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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The future’s orange at Cumbrian marmalade festival

The best marmalade makers in the world were crowned at a festival that attracted fans from across the globe.

Marmalade photo
Judge Pam Corbin

The World’s Original Marmalade Awards and Festival was held at the Dalemain estate, near Penrith, on Saturday.

Dr Yen-Chung Chong, a retired microbiologist from Brighton, was named the world’s best amateur marmalade maker.

And Blanka Milfaitova from southern border mountains of the Czech Republic won the world’s best artisan marmalade maker with her lemon concoction.

Marmalade lovers strolled around the mansion grounds with stalls offering hundreds of different varieties of the sticky stuff.

Different types including Merry, children’s, international, heritage, and man-made chunky marmalade were on show.

Some had been sent from as far away as Japan, Australia and the Philippines.

Paddington Bear could even be seen chatting to youngsters and posing for pictures.

Lesley Bentley, 64, from Hope Valley in the Peak District, said: “My husband is a marmalade addict and it’s been great.

“He’s already bought two jars and I’m really enjoying it.

“It’s an excellent idea.”

More than 1,900 jars were sent to the organisers for tasting and testing.

Eileen Wilson herself judged around 1,500 jars in the lead up to the event. She said: “The standard is perhaps not as good as last year, but it is very good.

“The festival is important for what it’s done for charity. It’s very worthwhile.”

Her colleague and friend Doreen Cameron said: “I like all flavours but Seville is ‘the’ marmalade. It’s got a real tang.

“The men are so competitive and it’s good that they are taking note of our criticism.”

The festival began eight years ago and features workshops and demonstrations.

There is even a marmalade church service and a marmalade concert.

Awards organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh said: “I wanted to prove that marmalade was as popular as ever.

“Since then the resounding message from our entrants is that it’s not only a vital preserve of the British breakfast table but also one that reaches far beyond our shores.”

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