MARMALADE lovers are being called upon to enter their prized preserves into next year's judging contest.

Entries for the World’s Original Marmalade Festival 2016 are now open with a number of categories for everyone from the serious artisan and commercial producers to B&B owners, chefs and children.

Organiser Jane Hasell-McCosh said: “Marmalade is part of the UK’s rich food heritage and the awards are now in their 11th year celebrate that in all its glory.

"With the addition of several new homemade categories and the introduction of the new chef’s categories I’m delighted to say that signs are promising for another very busy competition, with entries arriving already!’’

The homemade categories include several new classifications such as 'mature marmalade' - specially created for marmalade makers who are 80 years old and over.

There is also a world category for those living abroad.

Kids won’t miss out either with the addition of a new competition to design a marmalade label alongside the favourite marmalade making - overseen by the lovable Peruvian bear, Paddington.

Guest judges for the festival, taking place at Dalemain Mansion and Gardens, near Penrith, from March 19 and 20, include preserve expert Pam Corbin, food writer Dan Lepard and food historian Ivan Day.

Everyone who sends in a jar gets their marmalade tasted by a panel of expert judges and will then receive a personalised mark card with feedback.

The overall winners of the competition get their marmalade sold at the iconic grocer Fortnum & Mason in London.

Their recipe will be carefully reproduced and sold on those revered shelves with a percentage of profits going to charity.

A record 2,700 jars of the golden conserve were submitted from around the globe in the last festival.

The closing date for entries is February 14, 2016.

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