In a bid to make 2016 Census data delicious, Australian data visualisation specialists Small Multiples have teamed up with artisan chocolatier Bakedown Cakery to explore the relationship with ethnicity, population and taste in this Australian-first collaboration project titled Not A Single Origin.

By analysing the date from 2016 ABS Census, 12 Sydney suburbs were revealed as having the most prevalent cultural saturation using this weighted ancestry value calculated by Small Multiples. More than a year in the making, this Australian data-driven chocolate project uses food to represent the core origins of Sydney suburbs, revealing the relationship between cultural backgrounds and the locations in which they live.

Each suburb-themed chocolate created by Bakedown Cakery highlights the flavours and tastes of the most dominant ethnic backgrounds in each location, including suburbs such as Rooty Hill and its Filipino influence, Hurstville and its population of predominantly Chinese ancestry and Manly with its Scottish residents.

“This project is a true taste of the flavours of Sydney. The origins of Sydney’s population encompass more than 200 different ancestries. We have used taste to help people experience the extraordinary diversity in Australia’s most populous city, with the goal of making data delicious and turning this idea into bite-sized pieces for ‘Not a Single Origin’,” reveals Jack Zhao of Small Multiples. “This project has shown us that no matter where you live, from Concord to Cabramatta or Greenacre to Manly, immigrants have helped define places with their cultural traditions exemplified by the flavours they brought to the Australian palate.”

Combining code and confectionary, Small Multiples and Bakedown Cakery have used experimental 3D printing techniques to embed mapping data onto each chocolate, literally bringing suburban streets to our taste buds.

The graphic for the packaging was generated using custom software written specifically for this project. Using algorithmic wizardry, photographs of ingredients used were transformed into a terrain bursting with colours.

Jen Lo of Bakedown Cakery has spent months researching and developing a distinctive flavour profile of each suburb based on local ingredients, spices and native delicacies to provide a tasty interpretation of each highlighted Sydney suburb.

“For a suburb such as Westmead with a strong Indian population, flavours including cardamom, coconut and cashew join forces to represent the ancestry of its residents. Whereas, Concord with its large Italian influence sees a chocolate flavoured with strawberry paired with a tart balsamic vinegar caramel, to demonstrate its heritage,” says Lo. “Each chocolate is unique to the dominant cultural heritage of the suburb, and while varied, are equally delicious.”

This delicious data collaboration or limited run of boxes are available to purchase via


Related: Design Food: Culinary Architecture.


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[Images courtesy of Small Multiples & Bakedown Cakery. Photography by Hilary Cam.]


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