Scary stories from a lovely place
Today I read that Darrell lea, that iconic Australian confectionery brand, is in financial trouble and will probably be sold in the immediate future. I feel really sad when old Australian brands go bust or are sold off to the highest bidder. It’s like a bit of our nation’s soul is taken and disappears like mist.
Perhaps though, if they are in dire financial trouble, we haven’t loved them enough. Even our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said today that she was very sad by the news and admitted, “I know I have eaten a lot of their rocky road”. She certainly is a comforting figure at such hard times for our nation.
One day while living in Johannesburg I was delighted to find that my local supermarket, Pick ‘n Pay in Brixton, sold Darrell Lea licorice for an exorbitant price. This was a big deal in a store that didn’t stock Twinings tea, blue cheese or salami. I made this exciting discovery while pregnant with Silas. If you are a parent you may recall that licorice is one of the things that you aren’t supposed to eat while with child. Apparently it can bring on early labour or something like that.
One day towards the end of my pregnancy with Silas I was particularly miserable and splashed out and bought a bag. I remember feeling homesick and low. I think I was about 36 weeks, but I still felt guilty while I ate the whole packet of aniseedy goodness in the privacy of my little car in the grimy undercover parking area of the mall in Brixton. I didn’t go into early labour, but no doubt I paid the price later with stomach pains of a different variety.
Darrell Lea also reminds me of my mum. It was she who first introduced me to their licorice. A large bag was always a payoff for accompaniment on any trip to Miranda Fair.
I hope that whoever buys our Darrell Lea will retain the recipes and amazing products. My mum always said there is no substitute for Darrell Lea licorice. I hope the new owners will feel the same way.