Tabletop Publishing 2013 280 pp ISBN 9780987432209
The lamington is of course an iconic cake in Australia, known through numerous school , girl guide and many other fund raising drives, as well as being a popular serving at morning and afternoon tea., and, lets face it, it is delicious, but where and who created or invented this cultural icon?
This book is an enjoyable romp through the history of this sweet, named for either Lord or Lady Lamington - he was Governor of Queensland, 1896 - 1901. French provides us with intimate stories of colonial life at the end of the 19th century with quotes from various named and unnamed sources such as 'Lord Lamington was a pompous ass, and no one would have named a cake after him.' , and of course Lamington was allegedly rather rude about the matter of the cake itself, describing them as 'those bloody poofy, woolly biscuits' .
This search for the creator of the lamington encompasses many trips through newspapers, cook books, family histories and interviews with surviving relatives of cooks, maids and governors. It also brings to light, in one of the meanders down a side track that Helena Rubinstein (of cosmetic fame) was either a maid or a governess in the Lamington household.
The conclusion you will need to read for yourself but the journey there is really great fun. I will give the last word in this short review to the author, who acknowledging that with this publication, many people will throw new light on the subject matter and no doubt a few will quibble with the assessment, 'To them all I say:"Let them eat lamingtons"'.
May be purchased from Tabletop Publishing, 60 Phillip St., Toowoomba, Qld 4350 AUD $39.95
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Max Dingle 23 February 2014