MATERIAL GIRL: Jodie Bruton on food origins gone wrong

ONE of life's great joys is flicking through new magazines at the hairdressers.

My approach to this time-honoured ritual is simple enough: Food magazines first. Then gossip. Finally fashion. 

You don't want to be salivating over delicious. anywhere around lunch time. In the same vein you don't want to pore Marie Claire's Daydream Island fashion shoot when you are sporting a silly shower cap over your freshly-coloured locks; save that one for the blow dry or trim.

Last week at my hairdressing salon I found a recipe for Anzac Biscuits without any hint of rolled oats in it – not even a whiff.

I assumed it was a mistake. I read the list of ingredients twice more before I could believe it. I thought they'd miraculously show up in the method. No oats within cooee. However, they did have quinoa flakes, almond meal, coconut sugar and xanthan gum (available from health food stores if you can work out how to pronounce it). If not for the bicarbonate of soda, honey (golden syrup is more traditional) and coconut – albeit shredded – I would not have been able to recognise the origins of this Anzac recipe at all.

These biscuits were billed as being fit for delicate tummies. While I know that the whole species is prone to sensitive tummies now, calling these baked goods “Anzac” Biscuits made my stomach churn a little.

It made me think of other foodstuffs that have been lost in translation:

1) Coffee. While the Middle East got the ball rolling on coffee, Italy perfected it and then the US ruined it. From Venice, it was introduced to the rest of Europe. Coffee became more widely accepted after it was deemed a Christian beverage by Pope Clement VIII in 1600, despite appeals to ban the “Muslim drink”. The first European coffee house opened in Rome in 1645. Thankfully Australia has been mostly blessed with coffee in the fine Italian tradition unlike the US. Iced Caramel Frappuccino topped with whipped cream and vanilla bean syrup is a hellish combination. Few of us could stomach it!

2) Cruffin, Cronut, Croggle. Sweet child of Mary, how much sweet can you eat? I know people who swear by the cruffin and the cronut (a croissant crossed with either a muffin or a doughnut) but then the croggle cropped up. A croggle is croissant dough, which is shaped into bagels, then boiled and baked. It’s really a lot of Cs and Bs, all just for the sake of a simple bite to eat.

3) Surf and Turf. The classic Australian pub main that combines seafood and red meat doesn’t stack up for me. What do cows and prawns have in common? It feels like the chef is trying to squeeze two courses into one and save on the dishes.

4) Danish pastries in Australian supermarkets or any supermarkets for that matter. Danish pastries not made with butter are not Danish pastries. If your pastry has more E-numbers than the alphabet, step away from the pastry. #somethingisrotteninthestateofdenmark

5) Freakshakes. Have a milkshake or a brownie or even a Mars Bar but putting them together in a single sitting is courting disaster. Even the least sensitive stomachs might struggle with the side-effects.

6) Vegetarian sausage rolls. Let’s just call them vegetarian rolls. #notasausage

The Anzac biscuits that caught my attention last week were also sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream and rolled in more shredded coconut.

Sensitive tummies aside, I got a brain freeze just thinking about them.

Lest we forget.

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