Sunday, May 28, 2006

Vegemite, fish soup and cassava pie

from Wendy

Food fights

On the television this morning was a scene of children having a food fight. I said to Junior, ‘I don’t remember you kids ever chucking food around and at each other.’ He answered, ‘You never fed us enough. We wouldn’t waste any of it!’ Oh dear, I don’t think so. They all grew up to be over 90 kilograms and about six foot tall!


Then he said, ‘No one would swap sandwiches with us at school.’ I wonder why. Didn’t anyone else like vegemite and wilted lettuce sandwiches?
The Kraft company is having trouble at present, putting staff off. It makes Vegemite, the great Aussie food icon, which my brothers and I all grew up on, eating it on toast for breakfast for years and years.

White or brown sugar

In Fiji where there are four sugar mills, ordinary people eat a light brown sugar, and white sugar is rarely seen. When one Fijian guy came to Australia he stayed overnight at the YMCA and at breakfast was given steak. On the table was a container filled with white sugar, and he thought it was salt, so he just sprinkled it all over his steak. Hmmm. Rather sweet and people were watching, but he just kept on eating, not to miss out on a huge steak.

Fish soup

We were drinking kava the other night and T was telling us about the time he stayed in a very posh hotel. He and his partner had ordered fish. Well, in Fiji it is customary to drain the dish – even a large plate – if there is liquid or any kind of soup left. This was a restaurant with white linen tablecloth, etc. and T.s partner said, No, don’t pick up your plate and drain the soup. It’s not done here. So he saw a straw near his drink, so he just used that. The hovering waiter just raised one eyebrow. Later when the waiter brought the two dishes of icecream sweet to the table two straws were daintily placed into the icecream!

A muesli bar

The two Tasmanian miners who had been trapped underground for fourteen days told their story on TV last week For the first six days the only food they had was one muesli bar one of the men found in his pocket. They waited two days without eating, then broke it in half. They ate it very very slowly. Unfortunately one man dropped his piece into the rubble and couldn’t find it again. When the rescuers eventually made contact and a pipe was made, clean water, Sustegan, and eventually food was sent down to them in a pipe, while the rescuers carefully exploded the rock under them to make a tunnel to free them.


A staple food in Fiji is called cassava which is a white root vegetable without much taste, and when raw is actually poisonous. It seems to be pure starch. One time I grated it, boiled it, to make a starch to add to dye for screen printing! We buy it in Geelong at a Chinese grocery, frozen, and it comes from Thailand I think. We eat it about once a week. It’s not as nutritious as dalo (taro). Cassava can make a tasty kind of cake though by adding sugar and coconut cream.


Blogger YD said...

Vegemite! Yummy~!!! But normally we have Marmite cuz they are more commonly sold in Malaysia. Awww... I LOVE the taste! How can anyone don't like it? :-)

Eat to live, or live to eat? It's up to individual..

1:36 AM  
Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

Is there any difference between Vegemite and Marmite?

I tried Vegemite once (because an Aussie exchange student brought some) and liked it. My American friends thought I was nuts. Of course, they think that anyway...

1:26 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

We have Borvil in this region.. and it comes from Beef... YAKS!!!!

1:30 AM  
Blogger YD said...

Here's the Marmite Love or Hate website.

I downloaded the screensaver and had great fun! ... although the Hate side seems have more powerful weapons...

4:20 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Wow, I didn't think the word 'Vegemite' would get such a reaction! You either like or or you hate it. That's a funny website YD! Actually I usually add a slice of cheese to my toast and vegemite.
Seriously now, Kraft has been taken over by the Americans - Vegemite is no longer an Oz product! They way things are going at the present. Even the Snowy Mountain hydro-electricity - an icon - built by migrants in about the 60s, is up for sale! Nasty global capitalism is really biting these days.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:00 PM  
Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

Do a lot of people resent Americans for that?

(Speaking as an American preparing to go to Australia in about a month and a half...)

7:30 PM  
Blogger Aimee said...

I was just wondering where in geelong you purchased dalo, taro or cassava.... my partner is fijian - not here yet but in the planning stages and would like to know so he still feels likes he's home :)

5:24 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Aimee,
The only place I know is a Chinese shop in Moorabool Street between Ryrie and Little Malop. They have frozen dalo and cassava cleaned, cut up and in packets. About $4 a packet. Otherwise the Footscray market near the train station would have them.

5:45 PM  

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