Concordia Club Pork Knuckle

AT THE HEART OF AUSTRALIAN multiculturalism lies a willingness on the part of migrants and migrant communities to self-organise. Yes, it’s true, there’s a lot more to it than the notorious three Fs—folkdancing, fashion and food—including a much larger discourse about the role of the State in endorsing, forbidding, legitimising and co-opting multiple linguistic, religious and cultural identities as aspects of the national habitus and the post-Bretton Woods political economy, but every Council has to have a Festival, and everybody needs lunch.

Somebody ought to do a PhD thesis on the post-war history of ethnic communities’ media self-organisation as an aspect of Australian civic life. No, actually, perhaps they oughtn’t.

Probably what they ought to do is put down their books, head down the Concordia Club, opposite Tempe Station,1 on the specific Sunday in the month when there’s a band featuring accordion and sax, a stall with smallgoods and chocolate cake, and schnitzels and pork knuckle coming out of the restaurant like hot Volkswagens out of the Wolfsburg factory doors. If the lunch you get comes with masses of dry frothy beer, care of the German community’s energy and more than a hundred and twenty years of good community relations,2 so much the better.

An apple strudel with whipped cream, and the famous Concordia Club Pork Knuckle with a knife sticking out of it

Ooom-pa-pah indeed.

1 I can never go to Tempe without thinking of the Illawarra Line prayer: Lead us not unto Tempe Station, but deliver us to Eveleigh…

2 For the purposes of this thesis, the German community’s contribution to Australian gastronomy will be treated… holistically. What are a few minor interruptions between cultures?

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Anti_Kate · 23 August 2011, 16:22 · #

My mother, the daughter of German immigrants, married a man who refuses to eat pork. So for most of my life I thought my family were actually secretly Jewish and also I dismissed the entire Germanic contribution to cuisine as being all pork and cabbage and potatoes. Which it is, but oh my, what pork and cabbage and potatoes.

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Fyodor · 23 August 2011, 20:19 · #

Blimey! It’s Brucey!

I imagine the crypto-Jewish thing would have clashed with your boiler-suited feminazi presybterian [fully sic] schtick, but.

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Liam · 23 August 2011, 22:14 · #

Aren’t we forgetting the strudel? Won’t somebody think of the strudel?

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Fyodor · 24 August 2011, 11:43 · #

Strudel’s pretty forgettable, really. For a pastry with “rude” in it, it’s pretty underwhelming.

If you’re going layered pastry I’ll take baklava or a decent croissant amandes anytime. If it’s good enough for Nina Hagen, it’s good enough for me.

Oh, BTW, heh:

“Somebody ought to do a PhD thesis on the post-war history of ethnic communities’ media self-organisation as an aspect of Australian civic life.”

You’re not gonna shake off that Doppelgänger for a while.

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FDB · 24 August 2011, 19:44 · #

Schweinshaxe FTW!!!

I was transported by your tale Liam, to the München Viktualienmarkt, circa 1990, where my father and I enjoyed this magical pork with my first ever legally-obtained round of beers, a brace of magnificent tall and frosty Weissbiers. It was a gorgeous day, I’d made out with a lass the night before I knew I’d never see again, I’d just bought a leather jacket I felt sure (wrongly) would lead to many more such makings-out. It was one of the few moments in my life where I’ve actually realised at the time that a lifelong happy memory is probably forming.

Anyway… wrong again Fyodor. NOTHING is good enough for Nina Hagen. She merely makes do.

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Lefty E · 25 August 2011, 11:12 · #

I cant decide whether the Germans or the Czechs do better pork dishes.

Its a big question, and one frequently on my mind.

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Liam · 25 August 2011, 11:27 · #

It’s a worthy question and it deserves thorough research and methodical inquiry, Izquierdista. I’d suggest adding the Poles and the… citizens of all of the former Yugoslavian republics. Might there be scope for an ARC linkage grant with a few selected restaurants and community clubs?

Kate and Fyodor—the other mitteleuropean contribution to pastry is quality nobody can deny: the buttered, salted pretzel.

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Fyodor · 25 August 2011, 13:12 · #

NOTHING is good enough for Nina Hagen. She merely makes do.”

Jawohl. Fair point, well made.

These pretzels are making me durstig.

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