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Time for some mini bites

" Bite - 'a piece bitten off'; a small meal; a portion severed from the whole; a morsel of food"

So I suppose a bite is not really a thing on it's own, but part of something bigger. Except the you are using it in the sense of a bite to eat. So let's see of this week's morsels are part of something bigger or stand alone.

100 years of Cadbury dairy milk in Australia - These days it's not really fashionable to like Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate, but I'm willing to bet that lots of us still do. Of course the company is much older than 100 years, having been founded - sort of - back in 1824 by the Quaker John Cadbury who opened a grocer's shop in Birmingham. 1849 waa when they made their first chocolate for eating. There is of course a lot more to the history, and you can find a brief outline on the Cadbury Australia website. I should mention Bourneville though - the brainchild of John's son George who built a factory in Bourneville on the outskirts of Birmingham - a 'new town' with housing and good facilities for the employees. And Cadbury still likes to keep up that charitable idea with their current advertising slogan of 'a glass and a half in everyone.' The ad with the little girl is David's favourite ad. But of course, Cadbury is now just a part of the Mondelez conglomerate which is fundamentally half of Kraft. And before that it was merged and then emerged with Schweppes. Big business, lots of ill feeling about exporting jobs, palm oil and so on. But alas I too like their dairy milk chocolate - that purple can only by used by Cadbury - and they now have a series of special packaging for each decade of existence in Australia. The dairy milk chocolate, by the way, was created way back in 1906 and the glass and a half in 1928.

So Dairy milk chocolate is a small part of Cadbury which is a small part of Kraft. A bite, with lots of little bites in the bar. Probably a decreasing number.

Banana peel cake - a couple of weeks ago The Guardian newsletter featured this banana peel cake by Tom Hunt which is based on a recipe by Lindsay-Jean Hunt, which you can find on the Food 52 website. It's shown below together with one from Sarah Wilson.

Why would you bother though? Yes you don't waste the banana peels, but what's wrong with putting them in the compost bin, or the green bin anyway. If we use up every bit of vegetable scrap that exists, then what will we put in the compost? Besides there might be all manner of bad stuff sprayed on to the skins. Here's the verdict of one foodie - admittedly she was making banana bread, not cake, but same thing really:

"Though the splotchy, uneven coloration of the peel-enriched loaf wasn’t the most inviting, the peels’ presence did not contribute to or detract from the quick bread’s flavor appeal. If there was a miraculous, joy-inducing textural nuance going on, well, I hate to report that ten people who over-analyze food for a living missed it. So, why might one feel inclined to do this?" Darcy Lenz - My Recipes

Green banana flour - still on the waste thing and also bananas what do you know about green banana flour? The picture is from the last page of the Woolworths Fresh Ideas magazine and tells you things like it's gluten free, is a source of dietary fibre and contains manganese and potassium. And they have some in their Macro range. But are there are any recipes in the magazine that feature it? No. Although they do suggest using it to coat fish, make a pizza base and to thicken soups, stews and smoothies. They also say that if you add 2 tsp baking powder to 1 cup of the flour it will make lovely fluffy cakes.

In this case the logic is a bit better with respect to the waste, because the waste they are combatting here are at source - green bananas that are thrown away for some reason. It is also a traditional kind of flour in Africa and the West Indies, made from chopping, drying and then grinding the bananas - skin and all. Chile is launching into producing it on a large scape apparently. So perhaps more worth considering than banana peel cake.

Do you really need self-raising flour?

So still on flour, Ian, one of my loyal readers sent me an article from The Guardian which more or less came to the conclusion that you shouldn't bother with self-raising flour as you have more flexibility with types of flour if you use just plain flour and a raising agent. Mind you the experts the article consulted were not in agreement about what to do:

"[Dan] Lepard suggests either combining 250g plain flour, 10g cream of tartar and 5g bicarbonate of soda, then sifting 'two to three times to mix evenly', or simply 250g plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder; [Sarah] Lemanski adds less ('5% of the weight of flour should be baking powder'); Nigella Lawson goes for 150g plain flour plus two teaspoons of baking powder; [Benjamina] Ebuehi150g plain flour plus one and a half teaspoons; while [Edd] Kimeber admits he 'changes it all the time'. Tricky. But I guess it would save on storage space and shopping. The photograph I found above does indeed seem to imply that there really isn't much difference - maybe the self-raising flour cupcake is slightly fluffier looking? I confess when it comes to baking I just do as I'm told in the recipe!

Where have all the cardamom seeds gone? I usually buy my cardamom in the form of seeds because it's a real pain getting the seeds out of the pods. Although I do have pods as well, because sometimes recipes call for whole pods. I recently ran out of my cardamom seeds and so went to the supermarket to replenish my stock. Nothing. And not after several trips either. I went further afield - to Coles at the Pines, which has a stack of Indian spices; the Asian supermarket at The Pines - no and then at Colonial Food Stores in Doncaster. Still nothing. So currently I have given up and just bought ground cardamom, which I'm sure is not nearly as good. So I just looked online and it seems that the main producers - Guatemala, India and Indonesia are experiencing difficulties due to changed climate conditions and also lack of demand from the Middle East, although I'm not entirely sure why this is. Something to do with not importing from India I think. Now what's all that about? Incidentally cardamom is the world's third most expensive spice.

And where oh where can you get Aleppo pepper in Australia? Led by Yotam Ottolenghi, just about every British cook, and American ones too, rave about Aleppo pepper. And yet, even though those same cooks sell thousands of books here in Australia it is not to be anywhere simple here. Sure you can get it online, or in fancy food shops, but not anywhere that 'normal' people like myself go. I would like to try it sometime. They say it's half as hot as the normal chilli flakes you buy, and that it is also tastier. And so many recipes have it as an ingredient. If anyone knows where you can get it, let me know. I actually should have looked in Colonial Food stores. They might have had it. Obviously we don't have anyone with the Delia effect here in Australia. Delia, maybe now it's Ottolenghi, only had to mention something new and all the supermarkets were suddenly stocking it because the consumers demanded it. How do you get Woolworths and Coles to stock it? Or anything else come to that? You would think they would be monitoring these things.


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