Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lord And Lady Lamington.

Marvellous what interesting titbits of information one picks up fro the newspaper. In an article in the Melbourne Herald Sun on May 2nd, was an article about a series of stamps put out by the Australian Post office of uniquely Australian foods. And that these stamps will be issued with a first day Cover at the also marvellously appropriately named town of Eaton in West Australia. Among the foods being featured on these Stamps, is one of my favourite treats, the humble lamington.
I call it humble, because when we were young and Mum had a stale sponge cake that hadn’t been eaten, (Didn’t happen all that often with 5 kids), she would cut it up in to small rectangles and dip it in some liquid chocolate mix and then dip or otherwise cover it, in desiccated coconut.
Little was I to know then, and only just found out now, that was in fact how the original lamingtons also came to be. It seems that Charles Cochrane-Baillie was the 2nd baron of Lamington and served as Governor of Queensland between 1896 & 1901.
And the story goes that one day Lady Lamington was taken unawares when some unexpected guests dropped into Government House for afternoon tea. And the only thing on hand was some stale sponge cake. Which lady Lamington dressed up with chocolate and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. And supposedly that is how the humble Australian Lamington was born.
It is now loved by countless Australians including yours truly. However not all love or loved them it seems. And Lord Lamington himself, was among them! He is reported to have referred to the cakes as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits.”
As already said, I definitely don’t agree with him there, but what fascinated me, was how a simple necessity, took some otherwise unsuitable product and with some repackaging, made it into an Australian household delicacy.
So what otherwise good things are we currently wasting, that with a little ingenuity and creativity, can be turned into something desirable and sought after? Over to you for now.

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