From Thai cuisine to Indian cuisine and Mediterranean cuisine, multicultural Australia is heaven for all foodies out there. With the wide range of options Australia offers its inhabitants and tourists, you will be hard-pressed to not find something that suits your tastes. You are almost 100% sure to find at least one thing from your native country.
But although these dishes and food are now part of the Australian culture, Australia’s culinary history cannot lay claim to some of these food items. Below you will find a list of 10 common foods that are typically Australian. Some of these may surprise you as you may recognize them as originating from other countries! But they are dishes that Australians have adopted and adapted to make them truly theirs. If you’re travelling around Australia, you really should try some of these!
Cliché as it is, we can’t talk about the most common Australian food without mentioning Vegemite. The thing with Vegemite is you either love it or hate it with the intensity of a thousand suns. I have to say –I personally enjoy it.
And even though some people say it’s an acquired taste, in my experience, people who hate it have simply not used it properly. It’s not just about applying and even spread of Vegemite (looks like Britain’s marmite but really is not the same) on your toast. The layer must also be very thin. This is not Nutella – it’s salty. The more you apply, the less likely it is you’ll like it.
2. Witchetty Grubs
There are no two ways about it. If you really want to experience some proper Aussie Bush Tucker – then a Witchetty Grub is the way to go. Indigenous Australians have eaten these for thousands of years. It does not get more authentic than this! Some say it tastes like chicken and others will tell you it is more nutty-flavoured. Regardless, it is jampacked with protein and if not the experience, you may want to give it a try for its nutritional benefits.
3. Vanilla Slice
Not Australian. Is that what you are thinking? Yes, we know. It originated in France and is called ‘mille-feuille’. But technically, the Australian can claim ownership of the vanilla slice as they updated it and turned it into a vanilla-custard-filled, multi-layered pastry that’s dusted with icing sugar. Just as with the funnel cake, Aussies offer them with many flavouring options.
4. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are native to eastern Australia. These nuts can both be eaten raw and be included in a variety of dishes. These dishes can range from anything such as bread to lamb roasts and cakes. Macadamia nuts are really a versatile nut and are perfect during spring.
Tall and majestic, Emu is native to Australia and is the largest bird in the continent. It’s also the second-largest bird in the world, behind the ostrich. Whether smoked or served cold, this virtually fat-free meat is delectable. To top it off, it has a few times the iron content of beef and is low in cholesterol. If you want to go fancy, you can also have it in a pie made up of emu meat, smoked emu, feta cheese, red wine, sun-dried tomato, onion and Tasmanian black pepper.
The Kiwis may not like seeing the Pavlova cake on this list. Australia and New Zealand have shared rivalries for years and this rivalry extends to the culinary world as well – both the Aussies and the Kiwis have forever fought for the title as the “inventor’ of the Pavlova. Regardless of its origin, this meringue cake base topped with whipped cream and fruit is absolutely delicious!
7. Fairy Bread
Okay, we admit that this one is a bit strange. And you are not likely to come across it in a pastry shop. You probably won’t come across it unless you happen to find yourself at a kids’ party. It’s rather simple and you can even try making it on your own – it’s simply white bread with lathered with butter and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands!
8. Anzac Biscuits
ANZAC biscuits are Australian food with a back story. First thing first: ANZAC stands for the “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps” and Members of the ANZAC fought in WWI. During that period, wives baked biscuits using ingredients such as rolled oats, flour, sugar, desiccated coconut, golden syrup, butter, bicarbonate of soda and water. Not only were they cheap to make but they could also stay fresh for a long time, even on long boat journeys. The ANZAC biscuit is, therefore, a crunchy commemoration of the men that fought for the country.
Kangaroo meat is quite popular in Australia and can be found on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. This lean red meat is healthy and a must-have.
Barramundi, literally translated as “large-scaled silver fish”, is a type of seabass found in Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Served in restaurants across the country, the Barramundi is another food item you have to add to your must-try list