Australia Day / Le jour de l’Australie

Cafe Melbourne’s mac ‘n’ cheese jaffle, and – gasp! – hot chocolate rather than a Melbourne-style coffee. Photo: Patricia Maunder

Cafe Melbourne’s mac ‘n’ cheese jaffle, and – gasp! – hot chocolate rather than a Melbourne-style coffee. Photo: Patricia Maunder

What did you do on Australia Day (that’s 26 January for all you non-Aussies)? Have a barbecue in the backyard? Laze on the beach? Watch the cricket while downing a few too many cold beers? Me, I was at Montreal’s Fête des neiges winter carnival, zooming down the big snow slides on an inner tube, over and over, and skating on the outdoor trail – which I didn’t do for long as it was -19C, -31C with the windchill, so my toes got dangerously cold in the uninsulated skates. (More about Fête des neiges at this post.)

So not typical Australia Day fun, but the day before (and technically the big day given my hometown of Melbourne is 16 hours ahead) I did indulge in some Downunder nostalgia by eating a savoury pie (with tomato sauce, of course), a lamington (sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut) and drinking a mug of hot Milo (chocolate milk). It’s surprising how these tastes of home, which in the case of lamingtons and Milo I hadn’t cared for since I was a child, become so desirable when they’re no longer commonplace. I had a suspicion that expats’ cravings for certain products were jingoistic until I became one. Which is why I love two shops serving up a taste of Australia here in Montreal. Continue reading

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