An artist’s impression of Toowoomba’s big lamington.
An artist’s impression of Toowoomba’s big lamington. Contributed

Toowoomba sponges off our lamingtons

WELL doesn't this just take the cake?

A Toowoomba businessman has reignited a debate about the origins of the lamington by proposing to build a giant, fake, version of Australia's favourite sweet treat in the mountain city.

>> The Toowoomba Chronicle has their own take, let's teach them some history

Debate has raged between the culinary historians of Ipswich and Toowoomba for years regarding which south-east Queensland city was the birthplace of the coconut-covered delicacy.

Toowoomba's current plans have added a fair sprinkling of controversy to the rivalry.

Both cities admit the cake was made by French chef Armand Galland for the turn-of-the-century Queensland Governor Lord Lamington.

Adherents to the Ipswich origin claim the city was the first place lamingtons were served publicly following their invention at Government House in Brisbane.

However, atop the range there is the belief the cake was invented when Lord Lamington visited Toowoomba.

Ipswich councillor and historian Paul Tully said he believed the opening of the Ipswich Technical College in 1901 was the first public appearance of the lamington.

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said Toowoomba was sponging off Ipswich's history.

Cr Pisasale said the council was working on Ipswich's own way of commemorating the cake.

"Let me say one thing; there will never be a giant lamington in Ipswich," he said.

"But one thing I think would be good to recognise the lamington in Ipswich would be a playground where grandparents could take their grandchildren. One with a large lamington-shaped cubby house."

Toowoomba businessman Julian Lancaster-Smith's plans to build a giant fake cake were revealed in the Toowoomba Chronicle yesterday.

Mr Lancaster-Smith said the Big Lamington could become an attraction similar to the Big Prawn in Ballina or the Big Pineapple at Nambour.

"Toowoomba needs a Big Lamington. It is something that will be a drawcard for tourists year round," he said.

Cr Pisasale said despite the rivalry over the origins of the lamington he yearned for a return to a more masculine rivalry on the rugby league field, rather than in kitchen history books.

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