One of the miners trapped in the Chilean Mining Disaster, has admitted in an interview with reporters that he and his colleagues were actually involved in exploratory excavations of semolina.
Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used in making pasta, and also used for breakfast cereals and puddings, but in June, the Chilean government received secret information that there was semoline buried deep underground at the San Jose copper and gold mine where the 33 men have now been trapped since 5 August.
Initial digging revealed nothing, but assured of the information, staff at the mine persisted, and thought they had reached a rich seam of the pudding base, until the mineshaft collapsed, entombing the miners.
Now, as their imminent rescue approaches, news has finally broken about just what they were doing down at 700 metres.
Sancho Villa, boss of the Bird's Custard Well 60 miles off the Chilean Pacific coast, said:
"Mining is a dangerous business, but if there is a demand for custard, or, for that matter, semolina, then someone has to go and get it."