It's time to set one thing straight, to wave off the contenders and just say it how it is - lamingtons are Queenslanders!
Scorned at high teas but the backbone of sporting club fundraising, lamingtons – the cube of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and swathed in coconut – are an Australian institution. And like all famous faces, many lay claim to its origin including Harlaxton House in Toowoomba and even New Zealand.
But when it comes to the lamington, QUT historian and Old Government House curator Dr Katie McConnel says there is no dispute.
”It’s all in the use of the chocolate and coconut and because Lady Lamington herself credited Armand Galland with this popular cake.
”Monsieur Galland came to Australia with Lord and Lady Lamington in 1900 and cooked for them until they left in 1901. The lamington was born of necessity – it was Monsieur Galland’s answer to the perennial problem of unexpected visitors coming up the path. He pulled from the pantry day old French vanilla sponge cake, chocolate and coconut and whipped up the lamington.
”It proved so popular that Lady Lamington was inundated with requests for the recipe and thus Galland named his delectable treat in honour of his patrons the Lamingtons.
”There is no doubt it would have been at Government House that a lot of unexpected guests turned up. Lord and Lady Lamington did go to Toowoomba in the summer to escape the heat but they received most visitors at Government House.
”Monsieur Galland accompanied the Royal Tour to New Zealand in 1901 and would have cooked lamingtons in New Zealand but that was after the Lamingtons had gone back to England.”
Next time you bite into a lamington, spare a thought for the resourceful chef who saved the day and with a treat that has delighted taste buds for more than 120 years. And don't forget to brush off the coconut when you've finished eating.
Disclaimer: Just sharing food love.