Tag Archives: chocolate

‘Incredible’ – New Zealand war hero Bert Hansen’s handwritten manuscript from World War I found | Instant News

Kath and Stan Hansen have found a stack of letters and documents belonging to Stan Bert’s father, who was a Kiwi war hero from World War I. Video / Dean Purcell

Stan Hansen waited 80 years to open the brown suitcase tucked away at the top of his parents’ wardrobe that keeps a written history of his father’s war years.

The recorded memories of veteran Bert Hansen’s seven months as a German prisoner in Belgium during World War I are too painful to pass up while still alive.

“My father would not talk about war even if he appeared in it,” said Hansen.

But the deep memory of Stan’s childhood is that of his father’s whining from exposure to mustard gas: “he just coughed, coughed, coughed.”

With Stan having only a “vague consciousness” that grew out of his father’s experiences as a prisoner of war, the brown suitcase takes on a kind of mythological meaning.

“It’s in the wardrobe in their bedroom and it’s absolutely no no. We kids are not allowed to come near it,” said the 88-year-old.

“The first time I touched the bag, I was actually pictured with my dad in Christchurch as a kid aged 3, with my dad carrying my suitcase.

“It will be 80 years [since] I have the opportunity to touch it, because it is sacred. “

After Bert Hansen’s death in 1951 at the age of 53, the suitcase belonged to his youngest son, Arthur, who for his own reasons kept its contents a secret.

“He’s a tough guy to deal with at the best of times,” said Stan of his younger brother.

“The saddest part for me was that while growing up, my oldest brother, Jim, who should have been the right person to at least read the memoirs, died without seeing him.

“We know there is something valuable enough for my father on the top shelf in the cupboard in his bedroom.”

A postcard sent to Bert Hansen in the 1920s from a priest who lived near the site of the Kiwi escape.  Photo / Dean Purcell
A postcard sent to Bert Hansen in the 1920s from a priest who lived near the site of the Kiwi escape. Photo / Dean Purcell

With Arthur’s death in January this year, the brown suitcase was finally accessible to Stan and his remaining older sisters.

Stan’s daughter, Sue, said she could barely stand from her shock when the suitcase was finally opened at their Point Chevalier home.

Inside is a 109-page handwritten manuscript detailing his father’s arrest at age 22 in northeastern France, at Meteren on April 16, 1918, during the German Spring Offensive.

Bert was able to escape twice from the prison hospital where he was and was protected by Belgian underground resistance until the Armistice took effect on November 11, 1918.

Stan’s wife, Kath, was as stunned by the document as her husband.

“[It was a record] about his gruesome adventures from the day he was arrested until the Armistice, “he said.

“During that time he was in six different prisons in France or Belgium, almost dying, as did hundreds of others in those prisons. He escaped twice, and I understand he is the only Kiwi soldier who escaped twice from detention. Germany in the West. Home. “

Kath and Stan Hansen for finding countless letters and documents belonging to Stan Bert's father, a Kiwi war hero.  Photo / Dean Purcell
Kath and Stan Hansen for finding countless letters and documents belonging to Stan Bert’s father, a Kiwi war hero. Photo / Dean Purcell

Perhaps even more interesting in this case is Bert’s post-war correspondence with French citizens who helped him during his imprisonment and escape.

“The most interesting thing is a lot of French documents. Most of them are letters,” said Kath.

“It seems that in 1924 and 25 he corresponded with local residents in and around the church where he made his first escape. The parish priest at the time sent him three postcards of this church, which had been turned into a victim cleaning station.”

A translation of a postcard sent to Bert in 1924 from a pastor named A. Guidon at St Peter’s Church in Chains in Leuze-en-Hainaut, West Belgium, provides an overview of the type of correspondence.

“You will find annexed a card (interior view) of our church converted into a prison (as you know),” Guidon wrote in French to Bert.

“Despite the fact that the Germans wanted to hide your escape, we are well aware of it. One of the men who gave you the food (which we offered) gave us assurance about your disappearance.

“Would you be kind enough to tell us if there were any civilians involved in your escape. Who gave you civilian clothes? Who protected you? If someone really helped you, we’d be happy to respect that.”

Bert Hansen's 109-page manuscript.  Photo / Dean Purcell
Bert Hansen’s 109-page manuscript. Photo / Dean Purcell

Fr. Guidon ended by asking Bert to send him some New Zealand stamps for his collection.

Kath said she intends to write her own book over the next two years, including manuscripts and various other correspondence found in the briefcase.

He believes Bert planned to do the same in the 1920s before the project was put on hold.

Bert has described in a 1919 article the hunger and forced labor he endured during the seven month cycle of arrest, flee, arrest and flee in France and Belgium.

“As I went through all these papers, I got the impression Bert might have gathered information other than his own story because he was going to write something better and bigger,” said Kath.

“In the last few pages I found about three or four little notes on the side that reinforce my theory that he was actually going to write something else.”

Bert Hansen, center, in Europe during World War I. The photo confused his family.  Photo / Dean Purcell
Bert Hansen, center, in Europe during World War I. The photo confused his family. Photo / Dean Purcell

The photo of Bert dressed in clothing in Europe during the war also intrigued Hansen’s family.

“How could he dress like that?” Stan asked. “He is a prisoner.”

Sue Hansen said she plans to return to Europe to retrace the many sites mentioned in the manuscript.

“This is a story that continues to grow, it’s incredible,” he said. “The internet helps, but it’s like a puzzle. We have most of the outside but we are missing a lot of the inside. With these things, it doesn’t seem like a huge number but it really is. It’s quite old and people are getting old. we even have this.

Sue will also meet two historians the family has contacted over the past two months.

“Our two main local contacts are in Belgium, one has a museum, the other is publishing for academics, and they’ve got into their network and all of a sudden all these people are saying ‘hey, we want to get involved’,” says Sue.

“I have taken lots of photos and sent them to Europe, the embassies. Churches are fascinated by these writings because many of them were destroyed.”

Stan says his travel days are over, but just being able to read his father’s handwritten words describing a story he could never tell while he was alive is more than enough.

“Oh, that’s incredible. It’s an extraordinary story. It’s incredible that he can actually move and get so many people to help him in occupied Belgium,” he said.

“Until the end of January this year I had never seen them. To me this is a complete discovery.”


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Filipino pastry chef Norerriz Labrador found a true interest in photographing Australian nature | Instant News

Norerriz Labrador was at the peak of his career in 2016 when fear overcame him.

“My career is going well, I have good prospects and good money, but I see a feeling of insecurity,” he said.

Mr Labrador had been a pastry chef for a year at The Star in Sydney, Australia’s second-largest casino, as thoughts of returning to the Philippines began.

“If [I lost my] job and can’t find another job I need to do [go] back, “he said.

Fearful of losing her job – and the life she is trying to create for herself and her partner – she seeks permanent residence with her employer.

Norerriz Labrador trained as a pastry chef in his hometown of Manila.(

ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham


When that didn’t happen, he turned to regional Australia.

After five years on Mount Gambier on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, Labrador struggled to see himself elsewhere.

While he might have foreseen some changes, such as switching from a luxury hotel kitchen to a country bakery, he didn’t anticipate how much he would connect with the region’s landscape.

It’s a steep bend from Manila’s bustling streets to quiet mornings in dense forest, old volcanoes, and along rocky coastlines that make her fall in love with.

The sun sets in orange, yellow and pink over the calm waves on the beach.
Cape Northumberland is one of Mr Labrador’s favorite spots for shooting on the Limestone Coast.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


Baking since childhood

Mr. Labrador is destined to become a pastry chef.

“When I was a kid, we used to have a bakery and I grew up on flour and butter,” she says.

Her father, uncle and brother were all pastry chefs.

Mr Labrador said if someone in his family wasn’t a pastry chef, they were very good cooks.

“In our clan, we are a clan of chefs,” he said.

Three brown and red tarts next to a yellow tart, next to a decorated cake made to look like a wooden stick with a frog mushroom on top.
Some photos of Norerriz Labrador from his own pastry creations.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


Every weekend Labrador said his father would bring him little cakes to try.

“Every time I taste it [it] like heaven, “he said.

One day Mr Labrador’s father took him to one of the luxury hotels where he worked.

“When I entered the brown room it was like, ‘Wow,'” he said.

While his family is full of them, Labrador says pastry chefs are a rare breed.

“It takes hard work and your artistic side,” he said.

“If you really like to call yourself a pastry chef, then you have to know how to make bread, chocolate, ice cream, celebration cake.”

Norerriz in competition
Norerriz Labrador with entries in the live sugar art competition (left) and chocolate sculpture (right) in the Philippines.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


Work in the big kitchen

Thanks to his father’s connections, Mr Labrador was able to enter the luxury hotel industry after school.

She started out as a laundry clerk, worked in the kitchen and studied under the best French pastry cooks.

At the Makati Shangri-La, a luxury hotel in Manila, she was assigned her own assistant in the kitchen.

One of them, a woman named Mary Jane Valenzuela, later became his wife.

A man and woman wearing a white chef coat smile for a photo.
Norerriz Labrador meets her colleague Mary Jane Valenzuela in the kitchen.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


“It’s funny because at first he hated me so much,” said Labrador.

“Because I’m so excited and so excited, most of the time I’m a little cranky and hard to work with.

‘Lucky’ moving to Australia

For Mr. Labrador, the plan is always to work abroad.

“In the Philippines, you spend a lot of time honing your skills and improving your attitude just to leave the country… in search of greener pastures,” he said.

After a year of knockbacks, he was “lucky” and won first place in Australia in 2015.

But it’s not a free ride at all and costs $ 16,000 to get to Sydney.

“It was very stressful,” said Labrador.

He only worked with his first employer for three months before moving to The Star.

A woman in a wide hat stands under a bridge of flower trees.
Norerriz Labrador photographing her colleague Mary Jane Valenzuela on the Limestone Coast.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


It wasn’t until a year after he moved to Australia that he was able to bring Valenzuela from the Philippines to accompany him.

“I’ve never cried that hard in my life,” she said.

Move from Sydney to the countryside

When Sydney couldn’t grant him permanent residency, Mr Labrador responded to a Filipino friend on Mount Gambier.

The owner of Metro Bakery & Cafe – a large cafe and catering business – offered her a management position and a job for Ms Valenzuela in the same kitchen.

A man in a white chef's jacket stands smiling on the colorfully painted track.
Norerriz Labrador is the head pastry chef at Metro Bakery & Cafe in Mount Gambier.(

ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham


Having never heard of Mount Gambier or Limestone Beach, he views the move with optimism.

“I’ve worked in the big cities forever,” said Labrador.

“Thinking now, it’s a good decision because I rediscovered my love for nature, especially here.

Fog covered two large craters under the pink morning sky.
Gambier Mountain Valley and the Leg of Goat Lake in the mist one morning.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


Fall in love with the Limestone Coast

On the days Mr Labrador was not in the kitchen, he was still up before sunrise but instead of baking, he took photos.

Sometimes the light was in his favor, other times it wasn’t.

A man looks at a large tree with a DSLR camera in his hand.
Norerriz Labrador would love to become a full-time landscape photographer if he had the opportunity.(

ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham


He had his first camera in Manila but didn’t really get into photography until he discovered the Limestone Coast landscape.

The big difference is being able to get in the car and go anywhere.

“For me, to create a good image you have to put your passion on the ground,” said Labrador.

Rocky cliffs overlooking the beach, stone huts under a yellow sunset, caves lit by a starry sky.
Collages by Norerriz Labrador in recent years.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


After five years on Mount Gambier, that is what the couple is preparing; leave.

Labrador said the couple had an agreement that, after spending five years on Limestone Beach, Valenzuela can decide where to move next.

Although they are not sure where they are going, Labrador plans to run its own bakery in Australia.

Trees stretched out on the path which was illuminated by the sun.
Mr. Labrador really likes Meat Foot Lake in autumn “because of the beautiful color of the leaves”.(

Supplier: Norerriz Labrador


“I want to make a garage bakery [where] You bake bread in the garage and sell it, “he said.

But for now, he’s enjoying every sunrise he leaves on Mount Gambier.

“I’m really going to miss this place – every day, every hour,” he said.


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Swiss chocolate consumption hit its lowest point in 40 years after COVID-19 | Instant News

Swiss chocolate makers may be expecting a sweet spot as people turn to comfort food during the pandemic but instead face devastating 2020 figures that show consumption in Switzerland is melting to a 40-year low.

Chocosuisse, the national federation of Swiss chocolate makers, provided a grim picture this week of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on industry, with production, exports and even consumption plummeting.

Dan Lindt and Sprungli, one of the most famous chocolate makers in the rich Alpine nation, published their annual output on Tuesday detailing a nearly 11% drop in 2020 revenue, to 4 billion Swiss francs ($ 4.4 billion, 3.6 billion euros ).

Amid the economic lockdown and crisis triggered by last year’s pandemic, it may come as no surprise that Swiss chocolate makers as a whole saw production drop, shrinking 10% over 2019, to 180,000 tonnes, according to Chocosuisse.

And exports, which account for nearly 70% of Swiss chocolate maker revenue, fell more than that, slumping 11.5% in 2020, to 126,000 tonnes.

Perhaps even more surprising is that a country known for its love of high-quality cocoa products, where people consume more chocolate per capita than anywhere else in the world, is also seeing a decline in consumption.

Lowest since 1982

In fact, annual consumption fell below the symbolic threshold of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) per person, dropping to 9.9 kilograms – the lowest level since 1982.

The main contributor to the decline, Chocosuisse head Urs Furrer told AFP, was the sharp decline in foreign tourists, which tends to scale consumption down.

The per capita consumption of chocolate in a country is calculated by dividing the volume sold by the number of residents, leading to inflation in Switzerland, where chocolate snacks are the favorite souvenir.

“It’s impossible to calculate the population’s consumption with accuracy because, in the shops, the sellers don’t know whether their customer lives in Switzerland or a tourist,” said Furrer.

But the absence of tourists is not the overall explanation for last year’s decline.

In Switzerland as elsewhere, the health crisis and the accompanying restrictions, including long-distance forced labor, have had a clear impact on consumption habits.

“Consumption has also fallen in areas that are usually crowded with passers-by, such as train stations and city centers,” said Furrer, pointing out that chocolate is often an impulsive purchase by a traveler.

Physical distancing requirements also have an impact on social occasions where one may be expected to hand over a box of chocolates.

“Sales of praline gift boxes have also decreased,” said Furrer.

At the same time, however, sales of raw products such as chocolate masse that are commonly used by chocolate makers, bakeries and pastry shops increased last year as more amateurs learned to make their own candy at home.


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Rugby league: New Zealand Soldiers kick off the Nathan Brown era with a promising draw against the Gold Coast Titans in NRL trials | Instant News


Josh Curran of the Warriors scores a try during the NRL trial match against the Titans. Photos / Photosport

It’s best to always be vigilant about the pre-season NRL trials. Coaches and teams always have specific agendas to work with – rather than just grinding results – and it’s advisable not to get carried away about performance, good or bad.

That’s what happened to the Warriors in the past. The excitement following a 48-4 trial win over the Broncos in 2013 was quickly lost when they lost five of their first seven games and there are several other related examples.

But Saturday’s game against The Titans, which ended in a 12-12 draw, was important. It was the first course for Nathan Brown and the seventh new signing, after significant personnel changes in the low season.

It is also their only preseason chance, after last week’s trial against Storm was canceled due to travel restrictions.

Neither team wants to reveal too much – especially when they face each other in the first round of the NRL season – but it’s time for the latest issue of the Warriors to show something up and it’s quite promising.

They showed good speed and energy and had some bright moments in attack, while their defense improved as the match went on, with some great grabs in the second half.

Both squads have been rusty at times, with the Warriors also losing half-organization Chanel Harris-Tavita, out with a quad injury, and hampered by the loss of bitch Wayde Egan, who left with a shoulder injury after just 15 minutes.

Addin Fonua-Blake’s gigantic brace provides good muscle up front, giving an idea of ​​his ability to cross the line of advantage while Ben Murdoch-Masila creates a 40 meter high statue with his first touch after halftime, and the one-two hit by the twin towers could be something to enjoy, if they can also bring discipline in defense.

Perhaps the new player chosen was the former Dragons midfielder, Euan Aitken, who took some powerful punches and displayed a willingness to get involved, as well as the defensive initiative.

Bunty Afoa and Leeson Ah Mau are again welcomed, having barely been seen in 2020 due to injuries. Second rower Bayley Sironen demonstrated his versatility, turning to prostitutes in the second half.

The Titans got their best of the opening quarter, with two attempts in four minutes, to Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Jarrod Wallace. When he played for Queensland and Storm last season, strong Fa’asuamaleaui was tough to deal with through midfield.

Sean O’Sullivan and Nikorima teamed up well to send Josh Curran across in the 29th minute and the Warriors should have extended their lead before halftime, unable to capitalize on four straight sets on the Titans line.

The Warriors were sharper after halftime and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s sharp break sent Jazz Tevaga under the post just before the hour mark.

That shows what is possible when Tuivasa-Sheck gets the ball up front, which is the hope for 2021.

Brown vacated the bench for the last 20 minutes, with several young players gaining playing time. A formidable defensive play from Map Hiku stopped certain attempts from former teammate Patrick Herbert, while the Warriors did very well to withstand the continuing pressure in the final 10 minutes.

Soldier 12 (J Curran, J Tevaga tries; K Nikorima 2 goals)

Titans 12 (T Fa’asuamaleaui, J Wallace tries; J Fogarty 2 goals)

First Half: 6-12


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Nestlé launches a new vegan KitKat bar | Instant News

VEVEY, Switzerland – Nestlé launched a vegan KitKat bar this year.

The Swiss-based company said in a pers conference Monday that a new plant-based option, called KitKat V, will be introduced in 2021 in several countries. It is unclear whether the US will be included.

The vegan food, which Nestlé describes as “the perfect balance between crispy wafers and smooth chocolate,” will initially only be available through KitKat Chocolatory and select retailers to test out broader launch opportunities.

KitKat V was developed by chocolate experts at Nestlé’s confectionery research and development center in York, England, the home of the original KitKat.

The new product will be certified vegan and made from 100% sustainable cocoa sourced through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan together with the Rainforest Alliance, according to the company.

Bloomberg report that vegan bars will be made with a rice-based formula instead of milk.

Nestlé said that it wants to fulfill plant-based fans’ wishes and fulfill the expectations of KitKat lovers.

“One of the most common requests we see on social media is for vegan KitKats, so we are delighted to be able to fulfill that desire,” wrote Alexander von Maillot, Head of Confectionery at Nestlé. “I can’t wait for people to try this new, amazingly delicious KitKat. It’s a product for everyone who wants more plant-based in their life!”

Nestlé is fulfilling plant-based enthusiasts around the world by launching vegan KitKats in 2021.


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