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Vanilla slices – glorious, perhaps mundane, quite mysterious

The vanilla slice is one of those standard, humble Australian bakery items that qualifies as "good old" for its longevity and as "humble" because of its modest level of finesse. But there are mysteries in all this (and questions for readers at the end)… What was your childhood vanilla slice like? Did it have a different name? And how long has it been around?

Eating your politics (or prejudices)

I'm curious about how political/social beliefs or traditions shape where people will shop or dine. A timely example is that of Max Brenner, the Israeli chocolate company, which is broadly popular in Australia, but an unacceptable place to visit for some consumers. I wonder what other examples exist here or elsewhere?

Mint ice-cream, and ice-cream machines

Have you ever met one of those people who looks ascance at you when you suggest having an ice-cream in winter? "But it's 8 degrees and raining!" they exclaim. So bloody what? Of courrrrrrrrrrse you should eat it all year round. So here we are at the winter solstice (in the southern hemisphere) and I decided to do a flavour that straddles ideas of cold and wishes for warmer weather.

Corsica: not the easiest foodie destination

Five days in Corsica, surrounded by the azure waters of the Mediterranean, dwarfed by mountains and cliffs, eating myself full with sausage and cheese. That was the plan. The food part of it didn't quite come together. I blame the tourists.

Duncan's Degustations – Dr Oetker frozen pizzas

Like a gift from the heavens, a PR person offered me frozen pizzas to sample. I'm not the ideal candidate, but with my Duncan's Degustations series underway, how could I resist the opportunity to add to my spectrum of likely-ick experiences? Little did I know I'd end up with a freezer full of Dr Oetker's odd pizzas.

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TASTY PRESERVES

  • La Macaronicité 2: basic technique and simple macaron recipe
  • Travel 2008 – returning to Portugal, Elvas
  • Duncan's Degustations – Dr Oetker frozen pizzas
  • Plummy goodness: plum and cardamom cake
  • 7 food facts about me