Wednesday, December 24, 2008

LAMINGTON IN PUNE - Foodie Memories





When I lived near Aundh, in the evenings I often used go for a walk on Aundh Road from Bremen Chowk towards the railway line at Khadki. It is one of the best places to walk in Pune, wide roads with plenty of greenery and foliage on both sides.

Of course, Girinagar, where I live now, is a fantastic pristine verdant walkers' paradise, where you can rinse and invigorate your lungs with pure cool refreshing unpolluted air; but then it's far far away from the chaotic polluted noisy concrete jungle of Pune!

But one thing is for sure. While you can rinse your olfactory senses to your heart’s content with the wonderful pure air, you can’t relish a delicious Lamington and indulge your epicurean gourmand desires on your evening walks out here.

back then, in my memorable days in Aundh, on my way back to my erstwhile home near the banks of the Mula River, I would treat myself with a Lamington at the Spicer College Bakery Shop.

Let me close my eyes, transport myself to the glorious past, stop at Spicer College Bakery on my evening walk, buy a lamington and delicately place the soft delicacy between my lips, press and squeeze a piece of the wonderful stuff on my tongue, focus inwards, enhance the sensitivity of my gustatory senses in order to amplify the experience of supreme bliss as the Lamington melts in my mouth and the chocolatty-coconutty luscious syrupy sweetness permeates into me.

A Lamington is a delicious cube of sponge cake, dipped in melted chocolate and sugar and coated in desiccated coconut.

They originated in Australia around 1898 in what later became the state of Queensland. Whilst the origin of the name for the Lamington cannot be accurately established, there are several theories.

Lamingtons are most likely named after Charles Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. However, the precise reasoning behind this is not known, and stories vary.

According to one account, the dessert resembled the homburg hats favoured by Lord Lamington.

Another apocryphal tale tells of a banquet in Cloncurry during which the governor accidentally dropped a block of sponge cake into a dish of gravy, and then threw it over his shoulder, causing it to land in a bowl of desiccated coconut or peanut butter. A diner thought of replacing the gravy with chocolate and thus created the lamington as we know it today.

Ironically, Lord Lamington was known to have hated the dessert that had been named in his honour, once referring to them as "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".

Another theory is that they were named after Lady Lamington, the wife of the Governor.The Spicer College Bakery Lamington is my favourite – and can you imagine it costs just Eight Rupees [that’s five Lamingtons for a Dollar, for those who think in Dollars!].

The chocolate icing keeps the cake moist. The desiccated coconut protects it from drying out in the hot climate. And it’s quite a juicy generous lip-smacking treat!

The Spicer College Bakery in Pune serves a variety of healthy goodies like carrot cake, nut cake, doughnuts, samosas, soy patties, soya milk; but, for me, it’s always my all time favourite, the inimitable yummy succulent Lamington!

Tell me, Dear Fellow Foodies, have you tasted a Lamington, in Pune or elsewhere?

If so, do tell us all about it.

If not, enjoy one the next time you are in Pune and give me your feedback.


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