A paper presented at the 2nd Australia’s Homosexual Histories Conference at the University of Melbourne, 5-6 November 1999
Two moments in the global history of fags, dykes and food resonate across the last 100 years. The first, when a bed-bound Marcel dipped that madelaine in his chocolate condemning us all to endless hobby courses in memory writing and sundry experiments with biscuits and hot liquid of which the tim-tam dunk is the most recent manifestation. The second when Alice, exhausted after one of those afternoons when that vile Pablo had carried on about painting with his prick, turned to Gertie and casually inquired – ‘Shall I fix us a little something?’, creating both the cause and the cure for the munchies and condemning us to endless re-runs of films in which people wear tie-dye bandanas and say “groovy’a lot.
Of late, well as late as my all-to-brief sojourn as food critic for the Sydney Star Observer, these moments have occupied my mind. What, I have wondered, have their antipodean brothers and sisters cooked up that can stand beside them? What can we salvage from the farce of the failure of our wet republican dream to bring to the millenial banquet at which shall all sit will-we nil-we over the next year. What influence, in shortbread, have fags and dykes had on the development of Australia’s food culture?