Friday Food Facts and Fun: A New Feature

What is Friday Food Fun and Facts?  It is a new interactive weekly feature of articles, videos, events, tips, gadgets, questions, and other items from the wide world o’ food on IslandEAT.

I continually discover bits and pieces of food lore and news, which somehow do not make their way into my posts.  My friend, former colleague, and subscriber, Michele, also suggested I offer a food question-and-answer segment, so I thought I could answer –  or attempt to answer – your burning food questions, from time to time.   Thanks, Michele, for that suggestion!

Yesterday, I was able to “Experience the Difference” on BC Ferries through an extended 10-hour trip from Vancouver to my island.   The trip involved three ferries/two transfers and should have taken less than one hour, nonstop, on one ferry.  Because of a “mechanical problem” requiring an “inspector”,  I had plenty of time to read and surf online, however.  One “upside” of the adventure was that I finally took the mammoth Coastal Celebration from Vancouver to Victoria, which I can see from our house (pictured in my post here).  A few major  routes now have WiFi – another very good thing, to borrow from Martha S.

Cookery Video

Still thinking about all things British after our recent trip, I came across an unintentionally hilarious instructional film,  from England, circa 1937:

“The broiler-griller is indeed the housewife’s friend…it may be well the husband’s companion, too”, according to this film.  Really? Rather.

News Flash:  The Pavlova Prize goes to…New Zealand!

The Vancouver Sun had a small item yesterday on a stunning development in the culinary world.  The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has awarded the Kiwis the ultimate dessert prize.  The OED has determined that New Zealand can claim creation of the meringue, whipped cream, and fruit dessert known as the “Pavlova”.

For years, Australia and New Zealand have battled over bragging rights for the invention of this famous dish.  The OED settled the dispute, as they found earlier references to the Pavlova in a New Zealand cookbook  in 1927, Davis Dainty Dishes – well before any mention in the land of Oz. (I would love to get my hands on a cookbook with a title like that….)

The dessert was named in honour of the Russian prima ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who had a grand tour of NZ and Oz in the 1920s.  Congratulations, Kiwis!   You now have beaten Australia in one of the most hotly-debated food arguments of all time.

For views of New Zealand and food photography hints, keep reading.

To celebrate New Zealand’s triumph and to give you a sense of the country’s beautiful diversity, here are a few photos I took several years ago on a trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud:

Near the top of the north island, Russell was the first capital of New Zealand.  It has historic buildings, including this church graveyard – eerie under a full moon:

On the north island, Matapouri has spectacular beaches and scenery:

A short walk from the cove above, the Havana Cubana food stand offered a superb cafe con leche, in a delightful setting:

On the south island, Akaroa – settled by French immigrants – was misty and enchanting:

Finally, on the way to a secluded beach, we stumbled on miniature horses grazing in Haast, on the west coast of the south island:

Tips for Food Photography

I found a very helpful article, in a newsletter from Darren Rouse on digital photography.  It was entitled, 11 Great Camera Angles for Food Photography.

This may be of interest to food bloggers and others interested in developing their skills in gastro-porn.  I included a favourite photo of mine from my grandmother Jessie’s “pan cake” at the top of this post, which was one of the first featured pictures in WordPress’s new “Food Press”, so here it is…one more time.

Please do let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions for this new feature.  Thanks for reading the first Friday Food Facts and Fun.


16 responses to “Friday Food Facts and Fun: A New Feature

  1. Well Dan, I thought I’d think up a question for you while watching the “newfangled cookery” video, but I got too distracted instead. Very entertaining clip.
    Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead in my own kitchen without my fancy hat, and mink stole.
    Btw, didn’t the expert in the video sound exactly like Eva Gabor?

    • Thanks, Sol. I think the video might spark a new trend in kitchen fashion. Is the stole for wiping up spills?

      Whether she could have been Eva, ZsaZsa, or Magda, who can say but equally over-the-top.


  2. Friday Food Facts and Fun sounds great. Great looking pictures. I do have a suggestion for you cause i think i am looking for someone else do do the research 🙂 i am curious about these new gadgets coming on the market, why would one get one, is it useful or waste of space? Here are the gadgets i am wondering about thermomix and pacojet. I don’t get the point of these.

    • Hi, Ewa. I’ll look into those gadgets. However, I am now having to limit my gadget fixation due to very full drawers (in a kitchen with lots of storage) which sometimes can’t open/close. So I can just give my opinion and compare to current gadgets of mine….



  3. Hi Dan – thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I am glad you liked it! You have a great blog here and will definitely visit you again. Have a nice day! 🙂

  4. finally we know where this pavlova come from !!!! thanks for the info
    Hop you have a good weather coz here it is a snow drama in Paris !!
    Cheers de Pierre

    • Salut, Pierre. I thought you would be happy to know the definitive answer about the Pavlova.

      It is very cold right now but no snow at the moment. Stay warm in Paris!



  5. What fun, traveling the work and answering our burning culinary questions. I love NZ and agree, score one for New Zealand. I remember the first time my mother prepared a pavlova, so proud to have made something from foreign from Australia. The story that it was named after a Russian ballerina remained the same.

    • Thanks, Louann. Now I am feeling a bit sorry for the Ozzies who have lost out on the Pavlova to their neighbours, but fair is fair. It has been a mystery for far too long.


  6. Love this new feature, and looking forward to more!

  7. Hi, Maddie. I appreciate your feedback and will endeavour to keep you amused!



  8. Ha, I love this new feature of yours, Dan. Good tidbits of information! And that instructional video – don’t you know that’s how we all sound, dahling? I like the woman in the furs – she’s clearly a modern woman who understands the wonders of electric hobs.

    Also, I did hear about the pavlova argument – it cracked me up. Forwarded it on to David!

    Jax x

    • Thanks so much, Jax. I hope you continue to enjoy the FFFF feature.

      For your next video, maybe you should wear a hat and a fur stole. You can expound upon whatever topic and sound like an expert, when you dress like that – especially with the right accent! Oh, but you do have the right accent. Rather!


  9. Kia ora! I’m from New Zealand and we always knew we were the creators of the pav! Don’t you worry about those Auzzies, they need to harden up and realise that we Kiwis are champion dessert creators!
    (ps – Kiwi/Auz rivalry is very normal and my comments above are pretty much mandatory for a Kiwi! Heh heh!)

    • Kia ora to you, too, Miri!! (Does that get shortened ever to “K.O”, which seems like either “knock-out” or a dyslexic, “OK”??). I know about the NZ-Oz thang. It’s pretty intense, but I’m glad the Kiwis won this round.



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