What do you think when you hear Australian Food?

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Quadlex

Cook
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Nov 3, 2006
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73
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Australia
Australia is a fairly young country (As countries go), and we haven't had time to define a food identity for ourselves.

We're only now getting interested in our national produce for reasons other then flavouring (Eucalyptus has been in lollies for years), but we still can't really point to a style of cooking and say "That's ours, we invented that".

Putting together a 'typical' Australian meal can thus be difficult, because there really is no such thing, at least from my perspective as an Aussie cook and citizen.

I'm interested to know what others think Australian food is. What do you imagine a typical family eats for dinner? What do we do for take-out, or fast food? Can you point to a style of dish or cooking and say "That's Australian", or are there any ingredients you think are pure "Down Under"?

(To my fellow citizens: Let's see what the internationals think before we comment, makes it slightly more authentic that way ^_^)
 

Caine

Washing Up
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Vegemite? Blooming onions?

I suspect that certain regions of Australia have their own style of food preparation using indigenous flora and fauna, just like the U.S. has Cajun and Creole cuisine in Louisiana/Texas/Mississippi, southern fried chicken, New England boiled dinners, and California pizza, whose resemblance to real pizza is purely coincidental.
 

ScruffyAsh

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Apr 20, 2007
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Brisbane, Australia
I'd be interested to see what other nationalities think "Australian cusine" is. I find it funny every time I search for a new restaurant to go to and they describe their style as "contemporary/ modern Australian", condisdering that there isn't a traditional version to base on.

I'm sure our friends across the Tasman would like the put their 2 cents in as to which country some recipes origiated from.
 

AllenOK

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USA, Oklahoma
Well, I'll take a stab at it.

Vegemite Sandwiches. Never had one, so I can't comment on it.
Roo?
Lamb?

I'm not sure if there are a lot of Cattle Stations in that part of the world, so I'm not sure which is more popular, beef or lamb.

I do know that there are a lot of Italian immgrants, and as a result, lots of Italian restaurants. And being that close to Asia, I'm sure there are many Asain cuisine influences.

Is there any sort of culinary fusion going on? Pacific Rim, with a smattering of Italian / Greek?
 

BreezyCooking

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Culpeper, VA
Actually, "The Beautiful Cookbook" series has an absolutely lovely volume on Australia &, like all the books in that series, has gorgeous photography & is a fabulous read on the regional cultures & foods of Australia.

However, without looking at that book, I think the first things that come to my mind when someone mentions Australian cuisine are 1) "Carpetbagger Steak" (steak stuffed with oysters), & 2) roast &/or grilled lamb.
 

Robo410

Executive Chef
Moderator Emeritus
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Aug 31, 2004
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SE Pennsylvania
fish and seafood, citrus , grilled foods, euro/asian fusion,
Classic Ausie like Classic American or Canadian cuisines are the foods and recipes brought by the immigrants and the local food stuffs available. THe food of the pioneers. WHat all this has changed to in the 21 cent is fusion of some type.
 

Caine

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My second wife, who was Pilipina (and still is, as far as I know), insisted the only truly American cuisine was hot dogs and hamburgers.
 

YT2095

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Central UK.
Ostritch or Kangaroo burgers, prawns on the barbie, witchetty grubs, and plenty Foster or Castlemaine XXXX beer.

I`ll take the burgers, prawns and the beer, NADA on the grubs tho!
 

kitchenelf

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I also think of Asian food - Vietnamese in particular. A friend of mine said it was very predominant where she lived in Australia. Mostly I think of Vegemite (ick), and grilled seafood.
 

SpiritWolf

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
151
Location
Townsville, Australia.
Aussie food,thats easy, we have for starters our Great Backyard BBQ,yes with the prawns(shrimps),Vegemite definately(no one else can claim that one),our Pavlova,I know some people say it comes origanally from N.Z. though, I believe its Aussie. All our great seafood, a lot of great chefs say we have the BEST in the world, I believe we do, but other countries have just as good as us, I certainly would not say that I wouldn't eat other countries seafood, I love all seafood,it doesn't matter where it comes from.
Also our great outback tukker, if you know what you are looking for and how to cook it. Anzac bikkies, cant go past them on Anzac day, as well as our lamingtons,our great beer(XXXX) although I dont drink (XXXX) I drink Fosters though.Kangaroo and Emu and Ostrich (YUMM). You cant beat them on the Barbie. I would LOVE to say my favourite Roast dinner with the works, but I think that is English, isn't it?. What about Bangers and Mash, I class that as Aussie, I may be wrong though, but its a staple in our household, we all LOVE it.What about "Mangoes,Bananas and Pineapples"
They all spell out Queensland to me, and that is in Australia, where I live in fact, I cant eat much without having one or all of these fruits with it, somewhere along the way. So you see, we have a lot of things we can class as ours, if we think about it, I have probably forgotten heaps though.
I hope this all helps everyone, esp: Quadlex, I hope you find this helpful.
 

ScruffyAsh

Assistant Cook
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Apr 20, 2007
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10
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Yep, when it comes to Aussie food you can't go pass the good old barbie. But I think the sausage sizzle outside Bunnings (a hardware chain store) is pretty Aussie too. Oh don't forget the good old meat pie (with lotsa tomato sauce).

When it comes to sweets, a pavlova, ANZAC biscuits and lamingtons are what springs to mind.

With "modern Australian" cusine, I think it's definitely a mixture of a lot of Asian flavours with the traditional more English style of cooking. Eg Thai herbs infused grilled chicken breast with potato and pumkin mash.

For the record - I cannot stand Vegemite... bleh :-p
 

AllenOK

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Many, many, years ago, I knew a few ladies online that hailed from either Austrailia or New Zealand. They were always talking about "Tim Tams". Are those from Austrailia, or New Zealand? I gathered they were some kind of biscuit/cookie type thing.
 

ScruffyAsh

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
10
Location
Brisbane, Australia
AllenOK said:
Many, many, years ago, I knew a few ladies online that hailed from either Austrailia or New Zealand. They were always talking about "Tim Tams". Are those from Austrailia, or New Zealand? I gathered they were some kind of biscuit/cookie type thing.

Tim Tams to Australians is like Oreos to Americans. There are quite a few flavours including chewing caramel (personal fav), latte, kalua and double coat etc. But basically it is 2 rectangular chocolate biscuits sandwiching a layer of chocolate cream and coated in yet again more chocolate.

Ever heard of the Tim Tam sucker? You take a Tim Tam, bite 2 opposite corners off, dip one end into your cup of tea or coffee and suck. But make sure you stuff the biscuit in your mouth straight after or you'll end up with a handful of brown gooey mess in your hands.
 

Green Lady

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
423
Location
USA
We had an Australian exchange student live with us 20 yrs ago. She introduced us to the dessert "Pavlova". It was wonderful! And of course she loved her Vegemite. There was a powdered chocolate drink I seem to remember her using. She never stirred it completely but left the little lumps in it and loved it that way.

A quirky thing she did was to mix about 5 different cereals together in a bowl for breakfast. She just loved all the selection of cereals we had and couldn't decide which one to take so......
 

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