Diggings 2 May 2002

Discovering Australia’s oldest published cookbook, the real origin of grandma’s flummery, Indian diner NIMBYism, another scheme to make the arid plains of the north Australia’s veg basket and more.

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Fern syrup, stewed eel and native currant jam: this 1843 recipe collection may be Australia’s earliest cookbook

A chance find in a colonial newspaper from 1843 has us very excited: have we discovered evidence of Australia’s earliest cookbook?

A chance find in a colonial newspaper from 1843 has us very excited: have we discovered evidence of Australia’s earliest cookbook?


 Jelly Crystals and Evaporated Milk: On the trail of the ‘Australian flummery’

It was the kind of observation on Australian history by a new chef that ever-so-slightly irks the food historian in me and sets me sleuthing for the evidence to back up it up. Phil Wood, chef-owner of up-scale restaurant Ursula’s, in Paddington in an April 2022 article by journalist Max Brearley on a revival of ‘old-school,1950s grandma food’ is quoted as saying this of flummery: While flummery’s English cousin is centuries old, the Australian version of flummery was born out of post-war necessity, says Wood. The original recipe combines packet fruit jelly and evaporated milk. The evaporated milk must be “made really cold, and when you whip, it whips up like fake cream”. The fruit jelly is left in the fridge until almost set. Then you “fold those two things together, ending up with this flavoured mousse”. Was the ‘Australian version of flummery’ actually ‘born out of post-war necessity’? Did the ‘original (Australian) recipe’ in fact combine ‘packets of fruit jelly and evaporated milk’?


Not hot and cross but bitter and spicy about this Easter snack

Mixed peel. I know why it’s in there, it comes from a time when access to things like fruit was so rare that even scraps were seen as a treat, however calling mixed peel “fruit” is like calling Judas an apostle. You’re technically right, but the end result isn’t going to be enjoyable for anyone.

Inflation may be spiralling out of control and filling up your car until the hose goes click has joined homeownership on the list of impossible luxuries, but surely we’re not at the point of having to eat the contents of the compost bin.


Fight to save 3am kebabs after council says they’re ‘not in the public interest’

Its hand-crafted Indian cuisine made with love you can taste makes it the premier late night food hub in the world,” the page read. “Although most famous for its #5 garlic cheese naan kebab with aloo chop, it is more than just a restaurant, it is a community.


Serving up choice and dignity in aged care – how meals are enjoyed is about more than what’s on the plate

Routines, materials, and external aids were established to support memory loss and independence. For example, signage invited residents to help themselves to snacks, and a buffet encouraged residents to serve their own meals. Extending the duration of the breakfast service enabled residents to eat at their own pace, while the preparation of additional food ensured residents had the opportunity for second or third helpings.


Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn’t the answer

However, we could look at the issue of rising food prices and associated GST costs in a more positive light. Higher prices encourage us to value food more appropriately and to waste less. This could provide major benefits by reducing the overall resource costs associated with our food system. As GST is a percentage of the cost of food, price rises increase the government’s tax take. So instead of cutting GST it might be better to use the extra tax funds to alleviate the financial pressure on low income households through other means such as tax credits and support.


Water isn’t endless’: the controversial plan to extend irrigated agriculture in NT’s tropical savannah

In February, the Northern Territory Land Corporation (NTLC) released 67,500 hectares of land as part of the Keep Plains Development, where the farming industry hopes to grow fruit, nuts and cotton on a vast scale, but environmentalists argue that the effects on the region’s rivers, combined with changing rainfall patterns due to climate change, could be disastrous. … The head of the NT Farmers Federation, Paul Burke, says irrigation will allow the production of mangoes, bananas, nuts and other crops, but current market conditions mean cotton will probably be “the backbone of the broader production system.


More than just MasterChef: a brief history of Australian cookery competitions

The earliest of Australia’s cooking competitions were at agricultural shows. In 1910, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW hosted its first competition for “perishable foods” at the Royal Easter Show. Along with pastry and pickles, competitors could also be judged on their calf’s foot jelly.


‘Cooking In The South Asian Community As A Woman Is Taken For Granted’ — MasterChef’s Minoli De Silva Wants To Change That

“One of the things I’ve noticed is that generally around the world, not just in Australia, but around the world and especially in South Asian countries, women are the cooks of the household,” she tells Refinery29 Australia. “I feel like growing up, cooking is something that I took for granted. It wasn’t something that I thought I could make a career out of.” Since making it to the top 10 on MasterChef last year, De Silva has officially swapped her chemical engineering career to work in food, and is about to open her own restaurant later this year.


Plant-based patties, lab-grown meat and insects: how the protein industry is innovating to meet demand

As demand for alternative protein sources grows, Australians are increasingly looking for options that are healthy, sustainable and ethically made. At CSIRO, we have produced a “protein roadmap” to guide investments in a diverse range of new products and ingredients. We believe plant-based patties, lab-made meat and insects are just some of the foods set to fill Australian fridges by 2030. The roadmap sketches out the foundations for a future with greater choice for consumers, and better outcomes for Australian producers across all types of protein.


‘I don’t order takeaway at 5.30 in the morning’: Menulog limits hours to keep employee trial alive

A food delivery platform championed for trialling its riders as employees in an Australian first has cut their hours to keep the pilot going as a key union defended it as the victim of a ruthless sector.


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