Being so geographically separated from the rest of the world Australia is renowned for its diverse range of wonderful tasting foods. From the infamous black spread Aussies fondly call ‘Vegemite’ to the sweet fruit topped Pavolva there are countless options, but where to start first? Here is a list of 7 Australian foods you need to try on your trip Down Under!
Thick, black, tar-like… Vegemite is one of those things which you either love or hate. Made from brewers yeast, Vegemite has a slight beer like taste and is most often eaten on bread or on dry biscuits. An Australian icon since 1922 it can be now found sold in shops around the world, but it still calls Australia home.
Personally I love the slightly bitter taste on toast with butter in the morning or smeared across a steak. If that doesn’t quite sound appealing then maybe the Vegemite-esque ‘Cheesymite’ (Vegemite flavoured cream cheese) would better appeal to your palate.
Seasonally topped fruit on a slightly crunchy egg-white meringue – YUM! Pavlovas are one of my favourite Aussie desserts. Whilst a standard Pavlova is topped with kiwi fruit, strawberries and a drizzle of passionfruit sauce, other tasty combinations include blueberries and raspberries or having a chocolate flavoured meringue base.
It is not known if the humble Pavlova was a New Zealand or Australian creation and debate has raged across the Tasman for years. Check-out this article for a bit more information on the great debate.
Meats pies are found throughout Australia and you’ll frequently find people tucking in to them at AFL games or after a late night drinking session. It is believed the Australian recipe are derived from traditional British steak pies but instead of pieces of meat, mince is more commonly used. The standard pie consists of thin crispy pastry on the outside, with a large helping of beef mince and gravy on the inside. The most popular sauce is tomato (sometimes referred to as ‘Dead Horse’ as per cockney rhyming slag) but barbeque sauce is becoming increasingly popular.
Much like the Pavlova, the origin of the ANZAC biscuit has been greatly debated between Australians and New Zealanders, but it can generally be agreed that the recipe was created during World War I where wives would make these sweet biscuits to send to their loved ones as the ingredients used in the biscuits didn’t spoil quickly and would survive naval transport. ANZAC biscuits main ingredients include rolled oats, flour, sugar and coconut, with golden syrup or treacle used as a binding agent to hold the biscuit together. ANZAC biscuits tend to have a rather hard and crunchy exterior complimenting a softer inside with their sweetness coming from the golden syrup.
*ANZAC is the acronym for ‘Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Chocolate and caramel tastes great by itself but when it’s made into a cute koala shape who doesn’t want to eat this treat designed for kids of all ages?! Caramellos are a great snack-sized treat for kids hands, middle of the afternoon chocolate cravings and desserts when you want something that just hits the spot. Caramello Koalas are a fun Aussie take on Cadburys Freddo (frog-shaped) flavoured chocolates, with a hard milk chocolate exterior with a gooey caramel inside. These sweet treats were also the first confectionary item modelled on Australian fauna.
TimTams are THE Australian chocolate biscuit. Made up of a biscuit base and top with a middle layer of chocolate cream, then dipped in chocolate again, these chocolate treats are a much loved Australian take of the British ‘Penguin’ biscuit. TimTams are great when they’ve been left in the fridge for an hour-or-so as it makes them that much more crispier, but be careful that they actually reach home with you as they are tasty straight out of the packet! There is also a popular game called ‘Tim Tam Slam’ some Aussies play which involves biting each end of a TimTam biscuit off and then using it to drink tea, coffee, hot chocolate or warm milk!
Bundaberg Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic beverage, similar to ‘ginger ale’ in North America, brewed in Bundaberg, Queensland. Made from a traditional brewing process this refreshing soft-drink has is made from slices of real ginger, but it is not sharp and biting like some products. The ginger beer has a refreshing taste you often receive from drinking soft-drink but without the chemicals and additives which makes it delicious for everyone! Bundaberg Ginger beer comes in visually appealing old-style beer bottles and has diet options available.
Whilst there are many foods which can call Australia home these are seven which can be found in your local supermarket and not bounding down a highway (trust me, Kangaroos are hard to catch!) From the sporting ground found meat pie to the TimTams hidden in the back of the potato bin, everyones taste buds will be delighted at the food Australia has to offer.
What would you try first if you came to Australia? What’s your favourite Aussie food or what would you like to try?
This post is one of the assignments written as part of the MatadorU Writing Course helping me fulfil my goal for 2011 to become a better writer. Check-it out!