Japanese citrus region hosts marmalade contest

An international competition to determine the best marmalades is taking place in one of Japan's leading citrus production areas -- Yawatahama City in western Japan's Ehime Prefecture.

Entries began being accepted in March for the sixth annual competition. A record 2,110 submissions were received from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States.

Thirteen judges, including chefs and patissiers from Japan and abroad, have gathered at the ferry terminal building at Yawatahama Port this week to screen the entries from Monday through Wednesday.

Working in pairs, the judges are assessing the marmalades for appearance, texture, aroma and flavor, and awarding points along with written comments. The maximum score possible is 30 points.

The contest is divided into two divisions: professional and amateur. The winners of the professional division will be allowed to market their products with the contest logo, while the Grand Prize winner of the amateur division will be able to sell their marmalade commercially.

The contest's results will be announced May 14.

Inoue Yoichi, who heads the event's promotion office in Yawatahama City, says he is pleased the number of entrants is growing year by year. He says he hopes the city will be recognized as "a hallowed place" for marmalade.