You are travelling to Australia and get invited to a friend’s ‘Barbie’. Don’t be surprised. Furthermore you hear the terms ‘dead horse’ and ‘bangers’. Puzzled? Welcome to Australia and it’s unique food vocabulary! Allow us to enlighten you; Barbies are what the Aussies call their Barbeque, an outdoor meal that serves chops or bangers with tomato sauce or dead horse!
Australia on your bucket list? Read up to know more about the 8 most yummo food items, as the Aussies would call it. And after that, we suggest you add another word to your travel vocabulary – VEHO – our cutomized travel planner.
These square pieces of decadence are officially the National Cake of Australia. The Lamingtons are a combination of everything that is Australia and are the country’s favourite food icons. Beneath a layer of moist chocolate icing lies a soft sponge cake, sometimes stuffed with cream or jam and all of this coated in snowy white desiccated coconut. Mouth watering? Every cafe in Australia sells these delectable dessert pastries along with tea and coffee, so try it out when you visit! The Lamingtons, said to be named after Queensland’s erstwhile governor Lord Lamington, are now not just a part of Australian cuisine but also history
Another piece of Australian history in the form of a cookie – the ANZAC biscuits. These sweet, crisp biscuits were made, according to popular belief, by loving wives of Australian and New Zealand Corps (ANZAC) to send to their soldier husbands fighting in the World War I. Some fairly simple ingredients go into this biscuit – rolled oats, flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, golden syrup and butter. If you look carefully, unlike many cookie recipes, this one doesn’t use eggs, possibly because of the lack of eggs during the war. But these ensured that the biscuits kept for long. The crunchy Anzac cookies though an Australian legacy, are now a world famous snack option.
A biscuit loving nation is what Australia might be – Anzacs, Weet-bix (that’s another long story) and the most yummylicious of them all is the Tim Tam. Think Tim Tam, think chocolate. The much loved biscuit (or is it chocolate?) is made of a dual layered chocolate biscuits, with a layer of chocolate filling and finally coated in melted chocolate. The Tim Tam Slam is a something that Aussies are quite adept at. Let us show you how: nibble away a corner each on opposite ends of your Tim Tam and dunk it in coffee or hot chocolate, suck through like a straw. That is heaven in a straw possibly. It’s no wonder that that this is the top selling biscuits of Australia.
The Aussie Meat Pie
If you want to know what is quintessential Aussie food, then try a ‘dog’s eye’ or the country’s darling among food – the meat pie. The popular version of a meat pie is a single wholesome dish stuffed with minced meat and gravy, traditionally served with roast potatoes or cheese. A meat pie and beer are among every Australian’s weekend wishlist or part of football and rugby matches. In fact it is considered the country’s official dish, so much so that the Great Aussie Pie Competition is held every year with the aim of promoting the Aussie’s loved meat pie! Go for it if you are visiting Australia in September!
‘Come up here,O dusty feet. Here is fairy bread to eat…’ so goes R.L Stevenson in his book of verses. Fairy Bread in Australia is what childhood is all about, not that only children eat it, adults favour it as well! This delightful dessert cum snack is a little thin slice of white bread cut into triangles or hearts, splattered with butter or margarine and sprinkled generously with multi-coloured sweet pops. As simple as that. A bite into this pretty-as-heaven slice would definitely drown out your sorrows and you may even sprout a pair of fairy wings!
Vegemite on toast
Vegemite is to Aussies, what peanut butter is to Americans. It is an accompaniment at all meals from breakfast to dinner. Vegemite is a concoction of vegetables and spices with an extract of yeast. The reddish-brown paste is a rich source of Vitamin B. A warning though for the uninitiated, this one is an acquired ‘Aussie’ taste and might be an overload of salt and spices for the unaccustomed palate. Might get you wondering as to how even babies in Australia eat vegemite! Aussies rarely travel without a small jar of their life saving portion of Vegemite, the little yellow labelled jar is a never-miss for them. Something to try when you are in Australia – Cheesymite scrolls – baked bread rolls with cheese and vegemite.
In the 1930’s, Australian farmers decided to break the military rum monopoly and plant grape wines instead. Australia now has more than 40 different wine making districts, each with its own unique climate and soil. The fertile South Australian valleys are believed to produce the best wines in the world. The Semillon variety from Australia’s famed Hunter Valley region is rated the best. Semillions are fermented in stainless steel barrels and have a natural, un-wooded, fresh flavour. If you want to go the Aussie way, you should pair a prawn or oyster recipe with the Semillions. Talking of pairing wine, Australia is the place for food festivals.
In 1854, Australia found its favourite drink – the Victoria Bitter. The large brown cold beer is something that Aussies come back to after a tough work day. So what’s special about the Victoria Bitter you may ask. Created especially for the harsh Australian climate, this full strength beer is something that quenches the Aussie thirst like no other. A special combination of ingredients is what makes the Victoria Bitter the special Aussie brew that is. Look out for the iconic brown, short-necked bottle when you visit Australia!
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