I am hugely thrilled that in this ish of Compost we have several items contributed by youse out there. I would love more as making this a space to share ideas, resources, stories like those in this ish is very much what I have hoped the newsletter would develop into over time.
Bring on the debate J
From Barbara Santich. Any takers?
After a holiday in NSW I’ve come up with a theory: The rissole sandwich (once spotted on a menu in one of those cheap cafés at Central, on the way to Eddy Av) and rissole roll (at a takeaway at Wauchope) are not only definitively Australian but particular to NSW. Would you like to run this in your Compost – there might be others with similar evidence. Or the contrary! ‘
Sydney Rock Oysters
This lovely food origin story courtesy of Ross Kelly.
Some years ago, while studying a TAFE course on aboriginal heritage I met an aboriginal man, named Dave Pross. Dave lives towards Terrigal, not far from Patonga. He gave me this story about the origin of the Sydney Rock Oyster
The Darkjinjung word for Oyster is Patanga, but some call it Potonga. The Darkinjung story is about how Shark got his small eyes and fin and why oysters live on rocks.
This story comes from the alcatringa time when all animals had limbs.
Shark was in the shallow part of the bay rushing backwards and forwards chasing fish hoping to catch some for his meal, and did not notice in the bushes the Patanga brothers were watching him. Shark caught a fish and walked out of the water to place it in the sand for later, then going back into the water to hunt for more. His second attempt was no good the fish had gone. So he went back to cook the fish he had caught earlier, but while he was in the water the Patangas had stolen his fish and hid it in the bush. Shark looked around for his fish but could not see it, all he could see was the two Patangas sitting near the bushes, he walked over to them and asked have you seen my fish, they said what fish, you know very well said shark you two are the only people on the beach, the Patangas held up their arms and shrugged, Shark walked away then turned and said if you took my fish you will be sorry.
The Patangas gathered some wood to light a fire, Patangas being lazy the did not go far for the wood so the wood they gathered was a special type that when you burnt it, it made glue. The Patangas cooked fish and then ate it, after this one Patanga said to his brother that was then best meal, the brother replied yes, any meal you do not have to catch is the best, and they just burst out laughing, being lazy they then did not get rid of the remains of the fish, they just rolled over near the fire and went to sleep.
The next morning the Patangas were woken by Shark kicking them, and he said you two ate my fish, they replied no we did not, Shark pointed at the remains and said liars, kicking them again. The eldest Patanga jumped up as Shark was kicking the other brother, and he grabbed Shark and they fell into the hot sand near the fire, as they were rolling around, the two Patangas rushed at him trying to knock him down again, Shark side stepped and they fell into the ashes of the fire, and as they tried to get out Shark pushed them back in, getting white ash all over them.
Shark started to walk away and the Patangas got out of the ashes, then the eldest Patanga picked up his boomerang, threw it at Shark hitting him in the middle of the back, Shark screamed out, turned and picked up a big waddy then rushed to the Patangas. He beat them with the waddy hard they got smaller and smaller. He then picked them up and tossed them in the water, and they landed on the rocks in the water.
So now Shark has small eyes because of the hot sand and a fin on his back - the boomerang, and because the Patangas were lazy and used special wood they were covered in glue from the ashes and are now stuck on the rocks.
From John Newtown as a follow on to last Compost’s posting:
‘A interesting sidelight to the Halal nonsense. On recent trip to Nyngan we visited the local abattoir, KJ Halal. Below an excerpt from my diary about the tripo: ‘Next stop the abattoir at Nyngan owned by Pakistani brothers Jarvid and Tariq. Jarvid (or maybe it’s Javid) told us he’d arrived in Australia on a foreign worker’s permit and a lie. He told them he was a Halal slaughterman, but had never worked as a slaughterman. He got a job in Oberon, got paid lousy money and when he asked for a raise his boss said “you’re learning’” A little later he asked for a raise only to be told he was still learning. “When will I finish learning?” he asked. “Never” said the boss, but gave him a raise anyway. Now after working as a slaughterman all around the country, he owns his own abattoir, and is about to expand. Tariq appears to be the elder statesman, Javid the ideas man: dreamer and schemer set up. On being asked about being a Halal slaughterman, Javid said “You have to be a true Muslim, you can’t go out boozing and rooting women and do the job, you have to be a fair dinkum Muslim.”’
Feed Your Mind Film Your Planet
Thanks to Colin S for the link to this bijou project. There are some videos up already. I’m giving it a go and I reckon some of you out there might like to also or know someone who does.
The Importance of Food in Defining Jewish and Palestinian Collective Identity
Also from John Newton, a link to an excellent article about the appropriation of food for political purposes. It sparked a lively discussion among some of us on whether there were other situations in which the same has happened. Examples like the rivalry between Australian and New Zealand foodies on the origin of the pavlova, or Franco advocating paella as a unifying dish in Spain or the choosing of pad Thai as the national dish via a PM sponsored competition were all mentioned but fall short of what’s described in the article. Anyone else have any examples?
3D food printing
I have been following a thread on 3D food printing in the food-culture Google Group of the American Society for Food Studies (I think that’s the correct name) and am gobsmacked (an appropriate foodie expression) at what is happening in this area.
Just a couple of quick links for you that have set my head buzzing and about which I have more questions than answers. The Natural Machines one in particular has me flabbergasted as to wha?!!!