Devil veg find­ing new au­di­ence

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS | YOUR SAY - Sa­man­tha Wantling

IT MAY have been part of the sta­ple diet dur­ing the De­pres­sion, but over the years the hum­ble choko lost its ap­peal to the broader pub­lic.

De­scribed by some as the “devil of the veg­etable world” the choko just didn’t stack up to the more ‘trendy’ veg­eta­bles that were tak­ing over the restau­rants of the world.

But in re­cent times, peo­ple have started pay­ing at­ten­tion to the un­der-rated veg­etable. It is, once again, find­ing its way onto the din­ing ta­bles in some of the fanciest of restau­rants across the world.

Ap­par­ently not only is it tasty but it can pro­tect you from de­pres­sion and fa­tigue, im­proves wound heal­ing, de­creases ir­ri­tabil­ity, and the list goes on. Maybe, just maybe, we could get it in­cluded in the grow­ing list of su­per foods.

So why on earth would I de­cide to write this week’s piece on this veg­etable?

Well it seems there is a lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion hap­pen­ing in the hills of Eukey.

What be­gan as the sim­ple ex­chang­ing of chokos over the back fence has now be­come a fully fledged, brag­ging rights com­pe­ti­tion. Add in a lit­tle so­cial me­dia and we have our­selves a choko “grow-off”.

Peo­ple from both ends of the re­gion (fire­fight­ers from Bal­lan­dean, ex-coun­cil­lors from the South­ern Downs and a re­tired teacher/artist) have been send­ing in photos of their big­gest choko and the largest vines and whilst I am the first to have a weak­ness for any dish con­tain­ing choko, my lack of a green thumb pro­hibits me from putting any­thing up on show.

My hus­band, on the other hand, has thrown him­self into the com­pe­ti­tion and is even help­ing to or­gan­ise the first Choko Har­vest Fes­ti­val (not sure that it re­ally has the ap­peal of an Ap­ple and Grape Har­vest Fes­ti­val – but noth­ing sur­prises me).

There is even a lo­cal cafe that wants to be a part of the cel­e­bra­tions, of­fer­ing to show­case the del­i­cacy in many of its vary­ing forms.

So, if you have a pen­chant for the good old choko, I can put you in touch with the most overzeal­ous, con­trast­ing bunch of veg­etable farm­ers you can find.

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