Almanac Food: KD’s Kitchen – Favourite no-longer-available food item. Discuss.

 

Baron’s Table Hamburgers

 

 

I’m sure most of us have one – a once-favourite food item that we can no longer buy, whether it be from the supermarket, specialist food store or anywhere else.

 

One such item sings out to me louder than any other: Baron’s Table frozen hamburgers. Great name, eh – Baron’s Table? A burger fit for a baron! Yes, I can honestly say that Baron Kevin Densley loved them at any given lunch or evening meal time.

 

They were basic to cook, of course. Just open the box, peel the square paper cover off them and put frozen into a pan on a stove top, in some cooking oil or butter, do them for a couple of minutes on both sides and there you go – whack ‘em between toasted or untoasted buttered bread, with some cheese and Worcestershire sauce, a bit of salt, and then down the cakehole. (Of course, other toppings would work equally well, too – personal choice.) Alternatively, you could have them with hot chips, veggies or whatever you liked.

 

I loved – and that is not too strong a word – these Baron’s Table burgers from the time I was a kid through to, I reckon, almost ten years ago, when they became extinct. The last time I saw them was in the freezer of the General Store in the township of Moriac, just out of Geelong on the Cape Otway Road – they were no longer available in the supermarkets by then, but the store had obviously managed to hang on to some stock for a little longer.

 

Why were these Baron’s Table burgers so good? Hard to say, really. They had a certain je ne sais quoi. If compelled to describe them in detail, I’d say they were the perfect size, not too wide or thick, which made them ideal if you wanted to do double-burgers, and fit them within sandwich bread or rolls. Also, they possessed a wonderfully savoury, moreish flavour and were a touch saltier than most other burger brands. Finally, they withstood a goodly amount of frying and were excellent if well-done – all they did was shrink a bit yet retained their wonderful taste. (I recall Baron’s Table did a variety of burger with bacon added to the mix, but I much preferred their standard issue.)

 

So, Almanac readers, what’s your favourite no-longer-available food item?

 

 

Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

 

Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE

 

 

 

 

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About

Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His work has appeared in print in Australia, the UK and the USA, as well as on many online venues. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, has just been published (late 2020) by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Recent other writing includes screenplays for films with a tertiary education purpose.

Comments

  1. Boiled peanuts in their shells bought across the bar with a pre-Bondie pot of XXXX.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Cleaner,

    Yes, I could do with both of those things right now! I did like the old XXXX quite a lot. (But just about to have a “V(itamin) B” plus some New Zealand mussels, so I can’t really complain too much!)

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’d never heard of those burgers Kevin, but a quick squiz online revealed that there are many others who share your thoughts about them.

    There’s another thread to be had about food items that are still around but not a patch on their former selves, eg White Knights, Drumsticks and Wagon Wheels (assuming that they count as “food”

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Swish. Yes, I was vaguely aware that quite a lot of people miss those burgers.

    Your idea about a related thread is certainly a good one! A nomination from me in that category would be Butternut Snaps, which I think now are called Butternut Cookies and are about half the size they used to be.

  5. Kevin, Butternut Snaps !?! Wow they are good memories. Do Maree’s, or Thin Capstan’s still pop up on the biscuit shelves?

    It’s interesting how you say the Americanised Butternut Cookies are half the size of their predecessor. Stubbies of beer(cider) used to be 375ml; sometime this century they shrank to 330ml, though there was no resultant drop in price.

    Swish, those lollies/ice creams, i think are still around in some shape, size. You couldn’t say the same for Fags, or Lucky Boy licorice. They were products from another time, and won’t return.

    Glen!

  6. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your comments, Glen, which certainly struck a responsive chord with me!

    Yes, Butternut Snaps in their original form were great. I’m pretty sure Marie, Thin Capstan and other comparable biscuits of decades past (e.g. Monte Carlo) are still around – or the vast majority of them, anyway. The thing is, as I see it, that most of the local companies who originally made many past brands we bought got taken over by big multinationals who reduced the making cost and size or the original product (and therefore the quality) and kept the unit price the same or increased it. Not good form, of course.

    Give me that era along of the lines of the time when if you lived in the inner suburbs of, for example, a big city like Melbourne where there was a biscuit factory, you could walk out onto your front veranda at a certain time in the afternoon and smell the glorious smell of baked biscuits being taken out of the nearby big factory ovens.

  7. Kevin Densley says

    An excellent illustration of the point made in my last paragraph immediately above is the former Swallow & Ariell factory in Port Melbourne – according to the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society website: “The smell of baking biscuits is a sensory memory many Port Melbourne people share.”

    To give readers an idea of the scale of the above factory, around 1900, it employed 1900 people, and still employed about 450 in 1991. In 1920, it “produced more than 66 lines of biscuits. They also made puddings, elaborate cakes and icecream.” (All details and quotes are from the Port Melbourne website mentioned in the previous paragraph.)

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