News bites: truffles, jam… and worms

4th June 2021 | Eativity editors

Let’s all just take a minute to send a virtual hug to Victoria, shall we? Having to endure a fourth lockdown is just not fair. But we do have one bit of good news to provide a glimmer of joy those in Melbourne: free doughnuts! That’s right, but you’d better get in quick before this offer disappears like a prime minister at a vaccine rollout convention.

Also on the menu this week, Bondi cafe owners are turning the tables on throwaway coffee cups, research has found a protein source equivalent to milk, and if Sydneysiders suddenly start wondering why the CBD is swarming with truffle hunters this July, we have the answer.

Seriously, how could anyone say no to this?

Hot stuff, coming free

Melburnians certainly need all the cheering up we can offer them right now, so let’s just get this first bit of bad news out of the way quickly before we move on to the good stuff: in light of the COVID-19 situation in Victoria, Queen Victoria Market has announced that this Sunday’s Donut Festival will now be held on Sunday, July 4.

But there is a sugar-coated silver lining for doughnut-lovers stuck in lockdown. The market’s American Doughnut Kitchen will be giving away a complimentary bag of fresh, hot jam doughnuts this Friday to celebrate National Doughnut Day. That’s right – it’s National Cheese Day AND National Doughnut Day. What a time to be alive.

Shoppers simply need to order a bag of doughnuts through the market’s online shopping platform, Queen Vic Market Online, to receive an additional bag for free.

The sweet offer is available for doughnut orders placed through Queen Vic Market Online for delivery or click and collect today, Friday, June 4. Queen Vic Market Online delivers to more than 150 Melbourne suburbs with same-day delivery for orders placed before 10am on a market day. To find out more about Donut Festival, or to register for the doughnut-eating contest, head to qvm.com.au/whatson/donut-festival

Although they look like cardboard, disposable coffee cups are lined with plastic, so are not recyclable.

Bondi cafe owners say “f**k the cup”

“It’s only one takeaway cup…” said one billion people. Australians toss a planet-congesting 2.7 million coffee cups into landfill every day. Takeaway cups are now the number one contributor of waste after plastic bottles, and according to the Plastic Waste Makers Index, Australia now generates the most single-use plastic waste in the world.

Bondi cafes have decided that it’s time to make a stand. For one week in July, Bondi will become the first council locality in the world to go 100 percent takeaway coffee cup-free, with the aim of creating a Guinness World Record.

Locals Sondra Beram from bRU Coffee and New York Times bestselling author and climate motivator Sarah Wilson have joined forces to make Bondi BYO Cup Week happen. Well-known locals Bills, Three Blue Ducks Bronte, Lox Stock & Barrel, Gertrude & Alice, Rocker, Porch and Parlour, The Depot and Drake are among some of the many Bondi cafes to have already signed up to ban takeaway cups for the week, which coincides with the global environmental campaign Plastic Free July. The 40 or so cafes banning takeaway cups for the week will save more than 35,000 cups from landfill.

To find out more, head to responsiblecafes.org/byobondi

Enjoy a slice of truffle heaven. And maybe a truffle-spiked hot chocolate or two.

A truffle laneway is popping up in Sydney

Truffle-loving Sydneysiders: dig out your woolly hats and scarves and head on down to Circular Quay this winter. The Bulletin Place laneway will be transformed into an earth-ball oasis over two nights, with a Winter Truffle Laneway event to be held on July 8 and 9.

Michelin Star-trained chef Raphael Szurek will be setting up a live laneway cooking station serving up exquisite hot truffle delicacies including truffled chicken pâté with brioche, a hazelnut and truffle cream soup, a unique truffled crème brulée, chocolate truffles and gourmet truffle and Monte Rosso cheese toasties. Ooooh, yeah…

The Gourmet Truffle Store will feature limited-edition truffle products including truffles by the gram from The Truffle Farm, truffle salts, oils, pastes and chocolates. There will also be a truffle hunt, with truffle prizes hidden throughout the garden for guests to discover; and a one-night-only truffle masterclass run by authentic truffle providores will get you all wised-up about truffles before Szurek delivers a live truffle dish cooking tutorial.

To find out more about the Winter Truffle Laneway event, click here.

Mealworms can be made into a burger, not unlike any plant-based burger you might eat.

Mealworms as beneficial as milk

Research by Maastricht University in the Netherlands has proven for the first time that mealworm protein is as beneficial as milk protein – both have the same performance on digestion, absorption and on the ability to stimulate muscle production.

Milk protein (80% casein, 20% whey) is often seen as the “gold standard” of proteins. This study shows that mealworms also contains all nine essential amino acids and are efficiently digested in the human body. In contrast, plant-based proteins often show an incomplete amino acid profile, with low levels of essential amino acids. Mealworm protein doesn’t just combine performance and health; it also offers also natural nutrition and sustainability.

The edible insect industry in Australia is still in its infancy, but African, South American and Asian countries have been happily gobbling insects for donkey’s years. In other Western countries, the market is starting to grow, and globally, the edible insect industry is expected to be worth $4.63 billion by 2027.

Still a bit grossed out by the thought of eating bugs? Don’t stress. No one is expecting you to devour an entire deep-fried tarantula (*shudder*). Insects can be turned into far more visually appealing products like pasta, burgers and biscuits, which come with loads of nutrition and zero ick factor. Time to get on board? It’s the food of the future, after all.