Wisdom before Innovation

Is it any coincidence that NSW Youth Week is preceded by Seniors Week? Well, they do say ‘age before beauty’, but I prefer to think of it more as ‘wisdom leading innovation’… in other words, being old enough to know better, but doing it anyway can kind of be, well, fun!

Being somewhat caught between the two demographics is kind of cool. Both have something to teach the rest of us caught in the middle.

As it happens, I started writing this column while polishing off a piece of extremely fantastic lamington* from Carriageworks Markets. It could have been the jam, coconut covered chocolate ganache, pannacotta sponge or all of the above, but I think it happens to be an apt illustration of exactly what I’m talking about. From those who came before us, we have learnt the value of time honoured traditions and long-honed techniques.

In the kitchen, these classic recipes are almost always the ones we gravitate towards when we are happy, sad, or simply needing comfort. With them come generations of wisdom, practice and just a dusting of reverence.

The lamington in question, was made by Flour & Stone’s Nadine Ingram in case you were wondering, so it’s not exactly your bog standard fare either.  In fact, the construction goes a little like this: sponge is soaked overnight in panacotta before being liberally schmeared with raspberry compote, sandwiched together then rolled in thick chocolate ganache and finally curls of coconut.

An old school recipe, but a completely modern take on the subject. Which goes to show that the youthful notion of creativity and a fresh perspective can enrich something time honoured, resulting in something entirely distinct, interesting and dammit, delicious. So rather than polar opposites, consider age and youth for its combined possibilities. The results can be pretty tasty.

*The superlatives are justified. Anyone who’s consumed one will agree.

Words: Melissa Leong, www.fooderati.com.au