The trouble with spelt


It was when I could taste the difference between two types of organic spelt flour that I knew I was in serious trouble. You see it appeared I’d strayed dangerously into the sordid territory of food wankery.

Every week, because I am a feminist magazine editor who also likes to bake, I make my boyfriend a spectacularly delicious concoction called very simply a Booeybanananutberry loaf.

This mealy-mouthed morsel is so named because it features my man’s nickname and the loaf also contains mashed up bananas (preferably organic), blueberries (preferably fresh but usually frozen) sultanas (out of a packet but how can dried grapes not be organic?), walnuts (ditto packet but they are nuts after all), which is then all mixed together with organic spelt flour and full cream milk (ah, yes, also organic).

The trouble began when I was a bit slack getting to the over-priced health food store in time to purchase the necessary nutty-flavoured new but actually very old flour (it’s been around thousands of years apparently) in which to bake the aforementioned morning tea treat for my lover.

Surprisingly I found that the local supermarket, which increasingly stocks whole foods and other ridiculously expensive healthy bits and pieces, also sold spelt flour and it was even organic. Into my basket it went, along with my soy vegie roast, curly-leafed kale and goats milk yoghurt. I then paid the $89 bill for four solitary items and drove home in my fuel-efficient motor vehicle.

It would be safe to say that no two meals I’ve ever cooked have ever been the same – and it’s not because I am a culinary boffin who bravely “doesn’t follow recipes”. No, they are usually quite different because I generally forget one or two of the more important ingredients through pure ignorance and/or absentmindedness. Recently I actually forgot the berries in said loaf even though it has a berry bloody obvious name. I even ate a piece of it and didn’t notice anything was amiss until a few days’ later when out of the blue I remembered one of the missing principal ingredients. Better later than never I suppose.

On my appointed baking day, which is after our two-hour Latin dance session in preparation for a flash mob (also very hip), I threw together all of the ingredients, gave it a bit of a stir and into the oven it went. Three quarters of an hour later, it was done and I carved two skinny slices off for our obligatory taste test.

We munched happily on the warm goodness, which also thankfully appeared this time to have all the requisite ingredients. But as I chewed, I realised something wasn’t quite right. The Booeybanananutberry loaf was tasty there was no doubt about it but just not as delish as usual.

Quizzically, I looked over at B and raised my eyebrows as a means of asking, “what do you think of my extraordinary efforts in baking you this loaf every week which I pretend I don’t need praise for?” He smiled sexily back which insinuated to me that all was good in the world of boyfriend loaf baking. But I frowned in reply and mumbled, “it doesn’t taste right”. And it was at that moment that I realised the horrendous truth about myself. My palate had become so dignified, so very up its own tastebuds that I could tell the difference between two types of ancient spelt flour solely dependent on their location of purchase. What an absolute wanker.

I said as much to B, while simultaneously recognising that my words would forever mark me as a culinary snob of the highest order. He responded, “yeah I know” which thankfully means he’s as much as foodie knob as me, something I’m clearly quite happy about. We can now revel in our very own, over-the-top organic-only food nirvana for some years to come.

We might even try camel’s milk, which I hear is soon to be the new “it” tonic for the modern, overly-health conscious generation. Who knows, maybe one day B and I might even be munching on camel toes too, which will most likely taste much better to him than to me.


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