Tonight I decided to mix it up a bit. I took the steps. The Dixon St steps. Ordinarily I take the Cable Car home, a treat for doing a 500 calorie burning spin class at lunch time, but today I broke with tradition and found myself guiltily eating leftover neenish tarts in the staff room at 12.15pm.
The last time I ate a neenish tart was 20 years ago.
It cost all of $1.20 cents and I purchased it from the Tulip Bakery on Broadway Avenue, Palmerston North.
For a while there I was obsessed with the neenish tart. Every day after school I would take a 1.5 km detour on my bike ride home to purchase what (my then)15 year old taste buds considered to be the perfect harmony of an ebony and ivory baked good.
I’d sink my teeth into the sugared crust, hit the soft gooey center and try as I might to ‘make the tart last’ I would’ve have gobbled it down in 30 seconds flat.
In my mind the neenish tart was the tart of all tarts, a buttery, sugary nirvana. A treat so special it was reserved for high days and holy days.
It was not something I expected to find laid out in the City Gallery staff room on a Wednesday morning, it was not something I expected to taunted by throughout the long staff meeting, and it was not something I could resist.
30 seconds later I wish I had because like many a forbidden pleasure it did not deliver. Now the delicious memory of the neenish tarts of my adolescence has tragically been replaced by a cloying, sickly sweet, slightly off imposter – the modern day neenish tart.
What is going on here? This is a tart whose linage is purely antipodean. According to Wikipedia ‘This tart was created in Australia and is still mainly only known from there, in particular the states of Victoria and New South Wales (as well as the A.C.T.) It is also found in New Zealand.’
We have a responsibility to ensure the our indigenous pastries don’t get churned into the chemically enhanced mixture of the multi national conglomerates.
I could go on, but will spare you.
Anyway back to the steps, after eating the 262 calories I felt I needed to make amends, so at 5pm I found myself slogging my sorry arse up the Dixon Street steps.
Let that be a warning to us all.