A POPULAR world-wide homemade food competition returns for its 18th year.

The eighteenth Dalemain World Marmalade competition opens once again, where it will be hosted at the home of the Marmalade Awards at Dalemain Mansion in Cumbria.

The Awards were founded in 2005 to help to preserve, grow and widen one of the most British of customs – marmalade making and has grown into an internationally recognised and highly acclaimed event.

Last year, over 3,000 jars of marmalade were sent from countries as far away as South Korea, Botswana, Japan, Australia and Georgia.

Anyone interested in entering the competition can deposit their entry and get a jar in return or submit it to the marmalade express on the West Coast line.

The competition opens from Monday, January 2 and closes on Sunday, February 5.

The winners will be announced at the Dalemain Marmalade Awards and Festival on Saturday, April 22.    

Jane Hasell-McCosh Founder said: “The Homemade competition is pushing the marmalade boundaries.

"There is an organic category ‘Marmalade for the King’, to mark King Charles’ Coronation, with Paddington Bear helping to judge.

"We are also challenging the creativity of entrants to make new combinations with infusions of tea, vegetables from the garden and honey.

"The category ‘Rathbones Generations Together’ celebrates the wisdom of experience with the experimental approach of youth.

"It is hoped that these little pots of gold will help to light up the darkest of months and the magic of the awards lies in the fact that everyone is a winner. 

"People take part from nearly all the counties in the UK and from over 40 countries around the world and receive feedback and a certificate to celebrate their entry.

"All the entry money is donated to Hospice charities worldwide with over a quarter of a million pounds raised since its inception.  

"There is also an Artisan, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast competition. 

"We provide a platform for commercial marmalade makers.

"All commercial entries receive roundels to display on their jars and the chance to be stocked in Fortnum & Mason’s Piccadilly store."