ME AND MY BIG MOUTH
Food and other obsessions,
by Jan O'Connell
  • Summer of ’62

    The menu for New Year’s Eve 1962 at the Rex Hotel offered Oysters Naturelle or Fruit Cocktail, Sole Bonne Femme, half a Spring Roast Chicken with vegetables in season, followed by Tropical Fruit Salad and Ice Cream.

    11/04/2016
  • Ancient grapes

    Even the winemakers at La Gravera can’t name all the grape varieties that make up this mysterious white wine. What they can say is that the vines are more than 125 years old and that they come from a mere 0.95 hectare plot, 400 metres above sea level in northern Catalonia.

    15/03/2016
  • The truffle big menu

    “With this menu, we want you to offer the jewel of the best home product, with a very good year and in the middle of the season, we hope you will enjoy as much as us.”

    10/03/2016
  • Mouth in the south

    It was always going to be a challenge. A weekend of eating and drinking in the company of a group of thirty-somethings. But the lure of Tasmanian sparkling wine and fresh produce was impossible to resist.

    06/01/2016
  • Eating what’s good for you

    Every time you open the newspaper (or, more accurately, the online version thereof) you find a new pronouncement on what’s bad for you. Or, occasionally, good for you.

    09/11/2015
  • Down the hatch

    Today, Australians are drinking less alcohol, fewer soft drinks and less fruit juice. We’re increasingly turning away from cow’s milk to non-dairy alternatives. We’re drinking more water, coconut water and iced tea. And sports drinks are still going strong.

    22/10/2015
  • The great Penguin Ice Cream mystery

    Last week I had a note from Mick Ainsworth who had happened across this old advertising sign and wanted to know whether I could supply any more information about the Penguin brand.

    30/09/2015
  • Camp pie

    Is Camp Pie truly Australian? The Oxford dictionary says so, defining it as: (Australian, history) tinned meat. And it certainly has a long (if not glorious) history in this country. But its origins probably lie in the Old Country.

    12/09/2015
  • The Ultimate Sandwich

    In his book The Ultimate Sandwich, Jonas Cramby cites the French croque, the Swedish smørrebrød, the Chinese bao and the Vietnamese bahn mi, as well as American derivations like the hero, the po’ boy and the mufaletta.

    10/09/2015
  • Reward Custard Powder

    I had a note from Dennis, who was trying to track down the origins of an old brand of custard powder. It’s certainly not as famous as Foster Clark’s. My guess is that it was packed for a grocery chain called Lakins.

    08/08/2015
  • Heard the one about the Irish Strawberry?

    The Irish Strawberry Tree, is native to Mediterranean regions like Portugal and Spain, where it’s called the Madroño tree. However, pollen from the plant dating back to 4000BC has been found in Irish bogs and a native population is also found in those chilly northern climes.

    26/06/2014
  • How not to buy a cooking appliance

    A year or so ago, we bought a new stove. It was the only option when we switched from bottled gas to natural gas and our antique stove was deemed unfit for conversion. It was only as we began to use our glamorous new cooker that we realised the import of the old saying “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware.

    10/12/2010