Early harvest

Big strawberry's top

As summer approaches my meagre garden begins to yield harvest. My tomatoes have been recalcitrant and I am still waiting tetchily for both Roma and Grosse Lisse varieties to bear viable fruit. (My jealousy of Sticky’s reports of tomatoes weeks ago therefore remains.) The story is different for my snowpeas and strawberries, thank goodness.

Adult snowpea Baby snowpea

Growing everything in pots brings with it a pile of hassles, not least that of maintaining the right amount of moisture for the strawberries, but lo! I have many pink babies, soon to flush red.

strawberries' first blush immature strawberries

To tell you the truth, I have already had one early delivery, but was so excited that I ate it before remembering to photograph its final ruddy joy. To compensate, dear readers, I offer up a photo of the biggest strawberries I’ve ever seen, sold by Damien Pike at Melbourne’s Prahran Market for a dollar a piece. Ouch. But they were delicious and pretty.

Strawberries like eyesockets!
Modelled by my friend Debbie 🙂

Big strawberry

Meanwhile, I’ve fed the tomatoes some potash and overnight the flowers are fruiting! Cocaine for tomatoes… or something like that.


Lyon 2007

Lyon Basilica by day

Much delayed but newly relevant (as some friends were asking me about Lyon), it’s high time I published a description of a city I visited earlier this year and greatly enjoyed.

Lyon, about 400 km southeast of Paris and accessible by supergroovy double-decker high-speed trains (the TGV Duplex – I love two-storey trains, crave scenic trips in observation cars, but only ever get to ride on suburban versions (Sydney, Holland, Ontario), so a snazzy double-decker really does it for me!).

TGV Duplex

Anyway, as I was saying, Lyon is 400 km from Paris, is the main city of the RhĂ´ne-Alpes region (think Beaujolais), and is renowned for its pig-intestine sausages, andouillette, and its proximity to the home of Valrhona chocolate (in Tain-Hermitage) — ok that’s just my bias showing. Lyon is/was also the home to a weaver’s rebellion, a stunning textiles museum, has lots of groovy hidden passageways to get lost in (if you find the entry button on the hidden doorways in the first place), a scenic position and some fancy churches, trompe-l’oeil wall paintings, a good gastronomic bookshop, and a surfeit of homewares/decoration shops.

Traboule - hidden passageway  Trompe l'oeil - visual deception
Lyon Basilica by night

For a Melburnian, there was the added attraction of streets in a grid system (many Melburnians find bendy-street cities like Sydney, London, you-name-it hard to navigate… must be why I like Kyoto and central Lisbon;) ). Very liveable, as one says.

I stayed at Hotel Saint-Vincent, convenient to the old quarters (a bridge away) and the Place des Terraux (town hall, opera, shops). The hotel was simple (two-star) but adequate, though the lovely wooden floors made for lots of creaking as guests moved around and earplugs were necessary. The Russian toiletries were an interesting touch.

I was in Lyon for four evenings (a relevant way of describing it, given my obsession with food), but could only face two full restaurant dinners, alas. However, the dinners I chose to have were exceptionally good choices! Not high-end dining, but delicious hearty fare, well executed. The first dinner was at La Machonnerie. I had scouted out the menu earlier in the day and it looked very tempting. Seeing that the city was overflowing with tourists, I knew I’d have to dine early, so arrived at 6.30 (unusually early for me and for the French). The restaurant was empty, but the place was absolutely booked out. I looked as disconsolate as I could and the waitress took pity on me, offering me a little table squeezed into the back corner near the kitchen door. So nice of her!

La Machonnerie

Dinner consisted of

  • grattons – ‘pork scratchings’; cold, rather greasy pieces of pork rind, fromage blanc and good rye bread
  • salade lyonnaise – a generous salad of lettuce, lardons, croutons, poached egg, horseradish dressing
  • saucisson cuit – a thick, pleasantly porky cooked sausage on a bed of puy lentils cooked with onion in red wine. Delicious!
  • wine – a fillette (375 ml) of cĂ´te du RhĂ´ne; finally a decent house red!
  • sorbet de cassis – blackcurrant sorbet with a serious splash of marc de bourgogne poured over it (helpful article about marc at NYTimes). A bit harsh at first, but after a little evaporation the combination of grape spirit and blackcurrant worked very well.

A grand total of EUR 28 (A$ 47) made this quite a steal, especially in a rather touristy establishment (the clientele was mostly Japanese, American, British and Swiss, with one English-speaking waitress). This isn’t fancy food, but it was enjoyable, hearty and the atmosphere and service were pleasant.

The second dinner was even better. Oft-mentioned in guidebooks, a popular restaurant in typical traditional Lyon style, called a bouchon, is the Comptoir Restaurant des Deux Places (Tel: 04 78 82 95 10; 5, Place Fernand-Rey, 69001 LYON). The interior was so French you might have feared a tourist cliché, but it was genuinely atmospheric and many of the guests were regulars.

Comptoir 1 Comptoir 2 Comptoir 3

Dinner consisted of

  • langue d’agneau tiède, sauce ravigote – large slices of lamb’s tongue, served cold with a sauce of chopped capers, herbs, onion, stock and vinegar
  • andouillette et sa marmalade d’echalottes, pommes dauphine – traditional pork sausage made with pork intestine, both sweet and salty (almost disarmingly like a breakfast chipolata, though this makes me sound like a heathen), quite porky and with a visual texture of something between a coarse terrine and bubble-and-squeak, due to the strips of intestine (rather disconcerting! Gory picture here). Lusciously rich potatoes and tasty shallot confit too:)

EUR 30 (A$ 51) with some wine. Reasonable value for the quality and atmosphere, making allowance for the effects of its guidebook popularity. Again, hearty and enjoyable.

Now, regular readers are probably wondering where on earth the cakes, chocolate and other sweet comestibles have vanished too in this travel report… Yes, I’m witholding information! Naaaaturally, I ate ice-cream (pain d’epices (gingerbread) and a stunning, earthy rhubarb), munched on chocolate and tried the cakes from the premier pâtisserie/traĂ®teur Pignol, but most of what is reportable there will appear in an article in a few days’ time (sorry!).

I can, however, tell you a little about the market. Lyon is a gastronomic haven, with many open-air markets and one large covered market. This marchĂ© couvert, Les Halles de Lyon, is a quite modern building with many rows of merchants (the grid theme again!) selling a wide range of edibilia, from meat to cheese to wine to spices. An impressive place and sure to be bustling if you don’t arrive straight after the lunch break (sigh!).

Les Halles de Lyon - outside
Les Halles de Lyon - inside

A much smaller city than Paris, of course, Lyon has a surprisingly comfortable feel to it. For the culinarily inclined, the presence of a wide variety of markets, food shops, chocolatiers and an astounding number of restaurants makes this a very attractive place.

– DM

Lyon square, playing pétanque

Bloggers’ banquet, Melbourne

Last night (12 Nov) saw a get-together of some of the Melbourne foodblogging population. What a lovely bunch! I arrived late due to work commitments, so a good deal of the savoury edibilia had already been lifted from the long long table of goodies which people had (mostly) cooked up. The pics (from other bloggers) show all the stuff I missed and one or two that I actually got to sample. It was great to put names and faces to the people behind Eating with Jack, Deep Dish Dreams, The Day of the Expanding Man, Melbourne Gastronome, A Goddess in the Kitchen, Where’s the Beef, Vida, Get Real!, 1001 Dinners 1001 Nights, Ned-with-impending-blog and numerous others who I didn’t get to do more than smile at.

My own contribution to the long long table of goodies was a box of salted caramel macarons (macarons being a type of almond meringue, properly known as macarons de Paris, with two discs sandwiching a creamy filling of any flavour you might like). The photo is, alas, not mine, but sourced from the photos others took of the Bloggers’ Banquet.

– DM

Review: Lunch at The Fat Duck, Bray (UK)

The Fat Duck
[Aside: Publication of this review was delayed for a few months due to external factors. I’m now publishing it regardless!]

An inconspicuous old redbrick building in the Berkshire village of Bray bears a sign of a webbed foot, a feather and a duck’s bill, all with cutlery handles. Next to the door is a bronze plaque in French, ‘Relais & Chateaux Gourmands‘ and on the other side of the door, a large stylised fowl ‘Traditions et qualitĂ©‘.

This is The Fat Duck. Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, closely associated with the molecular gastronomy movement (though he eschews this label), enjoys Michelin 3-star status and was recently ranked among the world’s top ten restaurants.

The welcome was friendly and not as stiff as the staff’s attire might have led us to expect. The first three staff we encountered were French — a common affectation in British fine dining. There were maybe fourteen tables in the low-ceilinged room, with wooden-beams and whitewashed walls featuring colourful abstract art. A relaxed ambience.

This is an establishment best known for ‘experience’ dining, having attracted much popular attention for dishes such as snail porridge and egg and bacon ice-cream. We were curious to see how this would affect the meal and the clientele.

Once seated we waited quite a while for menus, even though the room was not busy and guests who arrived simultaneously had been provided with menus promptly. Two menus are available. The Ă  la carte choices were strongly biased towards fish and seafood. The tasting menu was more diverse and clearly the entertainment side of the experience. At GBP 80 (ca A$200) and 115 (ca A$290) respectively, the Ă  la carte menu looked like the poorer choice.

The first clearly positive note was the enquiry about dietary restrictions. The questions were quite intelligent regarding allergies and permitted guests to opt out of certain dishes if they seemed too scary (I would guess this is primarily a snail issue). The standard dishes are strong on seafood and very poor for vegetarians.

Water was offered–the imported (French, in this case) bottled type, with which restaurants in Britain attempt to earn similar margins to those they do on wine. GBP 4.50 for less than a litre is quite a feat. Good bread was offered, accompanied by unpasteurised salted and unsalted butters. Delightful. And, remarkably, ‘free’.


Nitro-green tea and lime mousse

Lunch commenced with a piece of theatre. A cooking station was set up next to the table. The waitress announced that she was about to cook a foam of eggwhite in liquid nitrogen and that the resulting ball should be placed whole in one’s mouth immediately. The foam was squirted onto a spoon and floated in the nitrogen, turned a few times and removed. The resulting hard white ball was placed on a plate, liquid drained off, and then dusted with a green tea powder and, as it was delivered to the first guest, the table was spritzed with ‘essence of lime grove’. Cute, theatrical, and setting the scene for a meal which would simultaneously titilate and irritate.

The eggwhite foam had become a cold, hard meringue-like shell which revealed a soft, refreshingly lime-tangy centre. It succeeds in the pleasant surprise and frisson of novelty. The dish was described as removing fat from the tongue and opening its ‘pores’. Uhuh.


Shortly hereafter, a plate of two small squares of jelly was placed in front of each diner. We were told that these were orange and beetroot jellies, and it was recommended that we should eat the orange one first. The diner promptly goes for the orange-coloured jelly. It doesn’t take a lot to guess there would be some sort of novelty here. The orange jelly tasted of beetroot. Intense, earthy, fruity beetroot. The dark red jelly tasted of orange. Deep, tangy blood orange. The waiter removed the plates and asked us which one we liked most. ‘The one that tasted of beetroot.’ ‘Which colour was that?’ A didactic touch, rehearsed and stiffly delivered, unwilling to acknowledge that we had seen through the trickery.

Eavesdropping on the neighbouring table, it was clear that not everyone sees through this caprice. The couple debated whether the red jelly was blackcurrant flavour and felt the orange coloured jelly wasn’t very orangey. Yep.

The jellies behind us, it was time for the first savoury dish.

Oyster, passion fruit jelly, lavender

For me, the no-seafood guy, a martini glass with a small dollop of lentils surrounded by a peach puree and sprinkled with mint. The flavour was round and very savoury, despite the mild sweetness and perfume of the peach. There was more to this dish, but the waiter wasn’t inclined to be informative.

For the seafood people, a raw oyster with a thick passionfruit jelly and some notional lavender. Presented in shell, balanced on a mound of wet sea salt as a pedestal. This dish was received enthusiastically, despite the combination of sweet and savoury with oyster.

Pommery grain mustard ice cream, red cabbage gazpacho

A shockingly violet sauce (the gazpacho) was the pool for a ball of mustard ice-cream. Very savoury, but a pity that the gazpacho tasted like old cabbage water. More successful in visuals than olfactories, this one.

Jelly of quail, langoustine cream, parfait of foie gras
Oak moss and truffle toast

Next, more theatre. A wooden box containing a layer of oak moss was placed on the table. Atop the moss were three small plastic boxes which we recognised from Japanese flavoured films and certain brands of breath freshener. We were instructed to place the film in our mouths. The waiter poured water over the moss, which then gushed white mist like a disco smoke machine. Dry ice was lurking somewhere. I assume the mist carries aromas from the moss.

With the film dissipating in our mouths, we tasted a ‘truffle toast’ — a small rectangle of wafer-thin bread topped with dry black shavings, it was intense and absolutely delicious. The primary impression was less of truffle and more of a broad umami hit. And finally, we started exploring a cup of ‘foie gras parfait, langoustine crème, quail jelly and pea purĂ©e’. The parfait was a tiny quenelle of a sweet cream of foie gras. Delicate and rich. The langoustine cream was appreciated by the fishy people, while my replacement — truffle cream — was strong and a little overwhelming at first. Beneath this was a layer of quail aspic. Firm and also quite strong, yet another meaty note to this rich dish. The pea purĂ©e, concealed below the jelly, was mild and sweet, and not as mushy-pea flavoured as one might have feared.

Snail porridge

The first less fussy dish in the tasting was the dreaded snail porridge. Dreaded? I had resolved to try it, despite a not-so-adventurous palate, whereas my otherwise adventurous companions at first baulked at the idea, only to slowly find bravery in their hearts. The tables were turned when the plates arrived. My bravery evaporated as I saw that the porridge did not contain the snails. There were, instead, three or four whole snails perched atop the porridge. Small strips and cubes of jamon added texture and flavour to the dish. The porridge was, of course, not quite that. Yes, there was evidence of oatmeal, but it was really a thick parsley-coloured snail sauce with small pieces of oatmeal and jamon through it. The challenging snails were garnished with shaved fennel which tasted of walnut. I have no memory of being impressed… but snail trauma might have been to blame.

Up to this point we had enjoyed most of the dishes, with high points and low points clear amongst our preferences. What had been lacking was the ‘wow’ in all of it. Where was something that would impress us with flavour and texture in a ‘normal’ gustatory way, rather than because of cleverness or novelty?

It arrived.

Roast foie gras

In the centre of a plate decorated with a sour cherry, an amaretto cream, delightful little cubes of almond jelly and stripes of morello cherry sauce was a small piece of roasted foie gras. (There was, apparently, chamomile somewhere in all this, but we couldn’t sense it.) The foie gras was stunning. Unlike the typical patĂ©-like texture, this was soft and light, almost a loose jelly in texture, with a sweet, mellow flavour only showing the characteristic foie gras bitterness at the very end of the flavour timeline. When the waiter was asked how this texture had been achieved, he started to describe a long, slow cooking process in a vacuum bag. That was fine and clear, but the surprise on his face when I asked if he was talking about the ‘sous vide’ method in turn left me surprised, and his unwillingness to say how long the foie gras was cooked for seemed petty (or ignorant).

Sound of the sea

A recent addition to the dishes that have had media attention is ‘Sound of the sea’, a multimedia dining experience. Dining with an iPod Shuffle for company – we were instructed to listen to the sound of seagulls and waves whilst eating. The food is intended to recreate a seashore image, with a loose white foam on one side of the rectangular glass plate, covering samphire, seaweed and mussels (or in my case konbu and broccoli), and delineated on the opposing side by a tapioca powder ‘sand’. Why the sound effects? Apparently it enhances the flavour impression. Evidence? Not within the walls of the restaurant, from my experience. I started with the earphones, removed them, replaced them, tested different parts of the food. Perhaps the effect doesn’t work so well with kelp. My seafood-friendly friends were more enthusiastic, with one objecting to the strong sound-induced seafoodiness. A waiter pointed out (towards the end of the dish) that I should be listening to the music. Thanks. Been there done that. Now doing my own testing, thank you very much.

Salmon poached with liquorice

One of the visually more challenging dishes was a square of salmon encased in a liquorice flavoured shell. This was served with asparagus, olive oil and a dusting of grated liquorice root. Feelings were mixed, with one of our party finding the salmon wet and characterless, completely lost against the liquorice. We asked a few previous diners over the following days and they almost unanimously felt that this dish was the least successful. Do some Googling and you’ll find numerous unenthusiastic comments.

I instead enjoyed a rectangle of pork belly, sweet and flavoursome, served with macaroni in an intense truffle sauce. The sauce so overpowered the wonderful meat that this dish seemed poorly judged. The macaroni were on the firmer side of al dente, small and not suited to the cutlery (or vice versa — widely spaced tines on the fork, a tapering pointed blade on the Laguiole knife). [I’ll write more about silly cutlery in restaurants another time.]

In a place where enthusiasm for the entertainment seemed rather essential, the waiter’s handling of one companion’s uneaten dish of liquorice salmon was interesting. He insisted on knowing what had been wrong with it, but then sought to explain the rationale for its character to counter the diner’s opinion. ‘The salmon shouldn’t overpower the liquorice as the flavours need to be balanced.’ Indeed. But wet and tasteless? He finished with a clearly rehearsed line, ‘I’m sorry it didn’t work for you.’

It was increasingly obvious that the oral description of the dishes, the theatre and service behaviours were strongly rehearsed and scripted. This is performance dining.

Best end of lamb

The final savoury dish, a sort of main course in a sea of tastings, was a beautifully tender lamb chop (also sous vide) with a light and fragrant thyme cream and an onion purée. Very un-played-with. Tasty, meaty, but after rather a lot of strong savoury dishes we were running out of appreciation.

Hot and iced tea

Between courses we were served a glass of two semi-liquid Earl Grey teas, one hot and one cold, though this wasn’t obvious until you started to drink. The two jellies had probably been poured into the cup with a divider, and with divider removed created two temperature zones in the cup. Later on, just the cold lightly gelled tea was served.

As palate cleansers before dessert, first an ice-cream cornet and then a sherbet fountain were served. The tiny cornet was a ginger-orange wafer filled with apple ice-cream. Very pleasant. The sherbet fountain was a small card cylinder filled with a modest dose of douglas fir flavoured sherbet. None of us could find this flavour, but sherbet makes most people happy. The sherbet was consumed with the aid of a vanilla bean straw — a length of vanilla pod, hollowed and dried to form a tube. Breathing through it flavoured the air with a musty vanilla aroma. Biting into it was a bit like eating vanilla charcoal (oops).

Mango and Douglas Fir purée

The dessert was a cube of lychee and mango bavarois with a dollop of mango and Douglas Fir purĂ©e — mildly woodsy – accompanied by an absolutely stunning blackcurrant sorbet and little blackcurrant jelly cubes.

Carrot and orange tuile, beetroot jelly

A wafer-thin rectangle of translucent carrot-orange flavoured ‘tuile’ on a stick. Can’t remember the beetroot jelly!

Parsley cereal

Strangely, it was now time for breakfast. A small cardboard cereal box in a bowl was presented to each of us with a greeting of ‘Good morning!’. The box contained a tiny sachet of parsnip flakes. Over these we poured parsnip milk. Trying not to gulp it down in one spoonful (it was a very small sachet, really très petite) we noticed that each mini-mouthful was sweeter than the one before. Curious!

And (almost) finally, the most written about dish at The Fat Duck.

Nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream

Continuing the breakfast theme, the cries of ‘Good morning!’ seemed to have become a chorus. Merriment all round? No. Irritation. The waitress arrived with her cooking table and, with more than a theatrical flourish, cracked open some eggs to reveal that they had, miraculously, become custard inside. (Her thumb was strategically placed to hide the plug in the shell through which the egg had been drained and the custard injected.) In a copper pan over an unlit burner, she then ‘cooked’ the custard in liquid nitrogen. The custard cools very rapidly, creating an incomparably creamy ice-cream. Waiters suddenly arrived proclaiming ‘Good morning!’ (yet a-bloody-gain), bearing plates of pain perdu (‘French toast’, nicely brĂ»lĂ©ed in this case) with some tomato jam and a bacon tuile (?) on top. The ice-cream was added to this little pile. We did not feel this was successful. It was sweet and the ice-cream tasted of fake bacon flavour (think a packet of flavoured potato chips).

At last we were at the end. With coffee came whisky wine gums and violet tartlets, and some chocolates (from L’Artisan du Chocolat, which I’ve discussed in another article). The gums were like vinegar jellies and the tartlets were palely flavoured (if vibrantly coloured). I like violet, and am often disappointed at the lack of flavour nominally violet sweets have (but more about that another time). Coffee was tolerable but by no means great and a list of teas featured prices breathtaking enough to deter all but holders of a Centurion American Express card! (GBP 14 for a pot, for instance.)


The meal came to GBP 140 (AUD 350) per person, including expensive water, coffee and the 12.5% merry service charge. As much as this cost will seem utterly ludicrous to many readers, one of my dining companions made the point that a three-course meal at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants in London would cost not a great deal less and include the joyful experience of being rushed through a sitting! With that in mind, I guess The Fat Duck is a much more tolerable option.

The experience was novel but became less enjoyable as the meal (all four hours of it) progressed. We ate food we would never find elsewhere; we gained insight into the cooking, the movement and the experience which is really only attainable first hand. We were not struck dumb by the gustatory pleasure of the dishes. We were, however, very very impressed with a small number of items (for me, the roast foie gras). As the non-seafood diner, I was surprised at the number of truffle items I was served instead. It was unsubtle and overly intense.

Dining at The Fat Duck is unlikely to be something people would repeat – or at least not often. There was clearly a table of repeat customers when we were there, but as the menu changes only incrementally for the most part (six months after I was there, the menu is almost identical), you would probably want to have quite a hiatus between visits.

I didn’t feel it was a comfortable meal. It was an intellectual exercise. The contrived service performances made it seem particularly artificial and the fact that we could hear the same script delivered to each table at different times meant that any surprise was often dulled.

Others have had different opinions of the experience (as can be read all over the internet) and it is clearly a strongly individual preference. It was useful to be able to compare lunch at The Fat Duck with a meal at Melbourne’s Interlude a few weeks later, as I described here. These were two very different meals.

[Note: there’s a chance one or two minor details of the meal are slightly inaccurate… I defy anyone to politely (ie, without camera or filmcrew) dine for four hours and remember it all! 🙂 ]

– DM

On chocolate, child slavery and a newspaper

Something interesting is going on at The Age newspaper in Melbourne. In the space of eight days, the newspaper has published two pieces about slavery in the West African cocoa growing industry. In September it also published a piece about this issue by a prominent Christian activist and anti-slavery campaigner from Britain, Steve Chalke.

Oddly, The Age’s sister publication in Sydney, the Sydney Morning Herald, has published none of these. Nor have competing newspapers shown any interest at all in the cocoa+slavery issue (I’ve searched through the News Limited stable, including news.com.au).

ABC radio has done one piece in the last six years, and that was an interview on The Religion Report with the same British campaigner on 26 September this year. I’m not aware of any television reports (certainly none at the ABC).

I’m wary of campaigners and bandwagons, and was therefore rather suspicious of The Age’s sudden repeated interest in the issue. I haven’t yet found a particular source for the information repeated in the articles, so although it might smell of press-release journalism, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Are we dealing with (1) a newspaper driven campaign, (2) familiar sloppy editorial control, or (3) a successful lobbying campaign which is only finding resonance at The Age? The issue of slavery in the cocoa industry is not new by any means (most of the material you’ll find out there relates to studies and media reports from the late 1990s/early 2000s. There have also been initiatives to combat slavery at an industry level and from other, especially religious, organisations. Many Australian religious organisations (Caritas, Salvation Army, etc) have cocoa+slavery material on their websites and do appear to have been concentrating on chocolate this year (and Hughes is known to write on issues of interest to Catholic organisations). I would venture a guess that this is because of, in part, the Stop the Traffik campaign led by the abovementioned Steve Chalke.

Why now? I haven’t found any new findings or comments about deterioration in the industry. In fact, it seems that there are indications of a reduction in (and/or original overstatement of) the levels of slavery since the first reports 5-10 years ago. It has also been found that, although slavery definitely exists in the West African cocoa industry, the vast majority (over 90%) of the children being forced to work are not slaves but instead local family members. That’s an issue of child labour. A report (Nkamleu and Kielland, 2006) prepared as part of the UN/ILO assessment of child labour in the cocoa industry observed that more than 50% of children (6-17yo) in farmer families in CĂ´te d’Ivoire were involved in the cocoa production process, many of them in hazardous activities.

The piece in The Age by Steve Chalke deliberately confounds slavery and child labour. Juliette Hughes’s piece does little other than to say ‘hey there are some ethical issues here’, while the piece by Carmel Egan also mixes up slavery and child labour, though actually states figures which show the difference in numbers.

I’m not writing this to engage in a debate about the morality of eating chocolate — clearly there are enough people out there telling us not to, unless it’s Fairtrade (or equivalent) — but instead to draw attention to the sudden attention the slavery issue is getting in one newspaper. If anyone can throw any light on what’s going on, I’d be very interested.

– DM