SNAP, CRACKLE, POP AT THE ‘COPHA’ CABANA

KEEP SOME COPHA IN THE CUPBOARD

There is an Australian urban myth that Kellogs invented Copha for the express purpose of making chocolate crackles. Well let’s explode that for a start.   The advertisement  below appeared in the Women’s Weekly in December 1937.  It is the first known mention of chocolate crackles. Yes, they were  invented by the makers of Copha itself, who wanted us to use their product in  ALL our cooking because…..well  it was wholesome, they told us.  Mind you, it was made of solidified coconut oil.

Hmm, 100 per cent fat, 98 per cent of it saturated.

Chocolate crackle mix

A spoonful of chocolate crackle mix, when you just can’t wait!

Crackles are simple enough for kids to make themselves . Click here for a  video demonstration.

My mother always had  Copha on hand, although she only used it for making chocolate crackles and  white Christmas slice. The slice was a  sickly mix of  powdered milk, dried fruit, icing sugar and rice bubbles. It was often left out for Santa, who quietly put it back in the tin.

White Christmas slice

Seasonal delight

Family traditions are carried on relentlessly until there is  rebellion in the ranks.   My sister Robbie  told me she was shocked when her pre-teen daughter said kindly, ‘Mum, please stop making  those chocolate crackles.  We don’t really like them.’   Oh, good grief!  White Christmas was probably rejected  as well.  I must ask whether  Robbie’s  grandchildren find them acceptable. The little girls  are still at primary school, so I’d say the answer is a resounding YES!

Copha as we know it was developed in Australia in 1933.  Previously there had been  an attempt to  produce a  copha  based butter substitute, which infuriated dairy farmers and led to the product being banned.

MAY 31, 1832  –  Speaking at the half-yearly meeting of the Colac Dairying Company, the chairman of directors, Mr J. Rankin, stated that the manufacture of copha butter, the sale of which had grown to such an extent that it became a serious menace to the dairying industry, was now prohibited.

The trademark Copha was eventually  registered in 1936. One of its best qualities is that it remains stable  in temperatures of up to 36 degrees. Just the ticket in our hot Aussie summers.  It does not try to replace butter, and thus poses no threat to dairy farmers.

The fleet of delivery vans pictured below illustrates how popular the product was  in those early days.

 

Remember that 1970’s hit by Barry Manilow? I always sing;  ‘At the copha, copha cabana!’   It’s my personal anthem to chocolate crackles and white Christmas.

HERE IS ANOTHER STORY ABOUT AN AUSSIE FAVOURITE – THE LAMINGTON

 

FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE IN THE BOX BELOW. THERE IS A SIMPLE SUM TO COMPLETE BEFORE PRESSING ‘SUBMIT’.

 

8 Comments
  1. Not sure these recipes sound the most healthy of treats (no wonder Santa put his back in the tin!), but I was intrigued to know exactly what Copha is/was. I had to resort to wiki, which informs me that ‘it is 100% fat, at least 98% of which is saturated. Hhmmmm

    • Pauline

      I ate so many chocolate crackles in my childhood…it’s wonder I’m still alive and with my own teeth.

  2. Great Story ! I still LOVE chocolate crackles 50 years on ! In New Zealand Copha was marketed as “Kremelta”. I’ll have to go down to the bakery this morning 🙂

  3. Old habits die hard… I have Copha in my fridge… though it’s ages since I made chocolate crackles. I used to make them now and then for Dad…he loved them!

    • Pauline

      I especially loved the congealed ‘chocolate’ at the bottom of the patty pan!

  4. I can remember my mother making chocolate crackles for us. We loved them. When I asked at a local supermarket over here in the States for copha, they hadn’t heard of it. It didn’t dawn on me to ask for coconut butter. Once I found out, I made a batch, but in the hotter climate the chocolate melted too quickly. I have made White Christmas over here also. Great for a Christmas gift placed in a glass goblet and wrapped in clear cellophane with a Christmassy ribbon.

    • Pauline

      I’m not sure I could enjoy White Christmas these days, Heather. But definitely chocolate crackles!

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