Do try the chow-chow

Ginger and melon jam heading to the table. Photo (c) James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Today piles of fresh ginger are everywhere in grocers and supermarkets. In early 19th century Sydney (as with much of the world) your options were restricted to dried, powdered, preserved in sugar or in a zesty marmalade-like mix known as chow-chow. Continue reading

Cayenne and chilli ‘peppers’

Chillis in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

If pepper is the king of spices, then the chilli must certainly be the knave – the bright upstart who threatens to oust the king from his throne. In many cuisines this is now the case, with chilli the dominant ‘hot’ spice, due to its prevalence in India and Asian countries. The English, and by default, colonial Australians, embraced chillis in full force in the C19th century.

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