Brooke Cleal Wanted Her Sri Lankan Heritage To Shine On The Bachelor From The Get Go

Network 10
Hometown visits take place on The Bachelor Australia this week, where Jimmy Nicholson will meet some of the remaining contestants' loved ones. For fan favourite Brooke Cleal, there's nothing more important than family, and she's tried to show that from the very start.
Proud of her Sri Lankan heritage, the 27-year-old chose to make a memorable first impression in the premiere episode by arriving on set with a Sri Lankan love cake.
The semolina cake recipe, which dates back to the 16th century when the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka, has been passed down by generations and typically includes cashew nuts, rose water and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon.
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Cleal remembers eating the tasty treat as a young child and thought that bringing it on the show would pay homage to her culture and her grandmother who first introduced her to it.
"I grew up with this cake. My nan cooked it for us countlessly, and she loved sharing it with us," Cleal told Refinery29 Australia. "Mum and I cooked this together to honour her and celebrate what could be a fantastic beginning for me of finding love."
The occupational therapist said she believed her grandmother, who passed away two years ago, would "be very proud" of her for showcasing the cake on television. "I’m so proud of my heritage, I love Sri Lanka. It has shaped me to share my passion and love for the food, country and my family," she added.
Cleal's on-screen move also warmed the hearts of other Sri Lankan Australian viewers, who praised her and the show on social media for the much-needed cultural representation.
Cleal said her family initially "thought it was a crazy idea" for her to find love on reality TV, but "they are always supportive of me, no matter what."
After being away from home for weeks, she briefly reunited with her loved ones during filming following her grandfather's death.
"Happy to admit, my grandpa was a true Bachelor fan, and loved the show undeniably without missing an episode," the reality star wrote on Instagram.
"What might have been some of the toughest days following his loss, spending time in my old princess bed, reliving some of those childhood memories in my grandparents home was truly a special recovery for me."
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After being with her family to grieve, Cleal returned to The Bachelor last week. Promos show that she will be one of the few contestants introducing Jimmy to family in the hometown visit episode. What will they think of the bachelor? We'll just have to wait and see.
The Bachelor Australia airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm on Network 10.

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