Food, by its nature, is ephemeral, and so is its history. Sometimes it’s obvious when a trend is happening (see: kale, fancy gelato, complicated doughnuts). Other times, you might look up and think, “Hey, remember the early 2000s, when every sandwich was a focaccia and hardly anyone ate sourdough?” And, the further back in time we go, the greater the challenge.
Which brings us to Flavours of Melbourne: A Culinary Biography by Charmaine O’Brien, an extremely fortuitous find in the local history shelves at the Melbourne Library. It doesn’t just contain history — it contains recipes!