Most countries have food (and an entire cuisine) stemming from long histories and traditional cultures that they could truly and easily call their own. Italy has a wide range of Italian classics like spaghetti and pizza. China takes pride in ownership and the origin of noodles while the Japanese have ramen, sushi and Pokemon (oops, that last one is not food at all).
But what about Australia? Indigenous Australians or the Aboriginals had a hunter-gatherer diet known as bush tucker or bush food. And yes, you guessed it right, this is mostly drawn from the available flora and fauna in the surroundings such as nuts, leafy green veggies, and even kangaroos. The end of the war has also done good to the food culture—paving the way for global influences. Fast forward to the modern era, lines have blurred and restaurants and food stores are multicultural and international. But we’re not complaining. We love the fusion.
If you happen to be looking for a true Aussie food experience while on a road trip Down Under, in no particular order, here are some of the most iconic (sometimes weird) food you should try:
Iconic Food From Australia
Truly one of the most iconic, a lamington, Australia’s National Cake, so to speak, has made the list. The dessert, which is often argued to be of New Zealand origin though created by and named after then governor of Queensland Lord Lamington, is a layers of sponge cake smothered in chocolate sauce and sprinkled with desiccated coconut.
Vegemite on Toast
Verily, it never is a true list of iconic Aussie food without Kraft’s well-loved (and often hated) Vegemite. People have mixed feelings towards the vegetable yeast extract spread (with spice additives) but it has cemented itself to be one of most OZ food ever. The food past, which has a salty taste, is eaten with toast and butter. It was made in 1922 by Cyril Callister in Melbourne, Victoria.
They say that the best way to eat a Tim Tam is with coffee. What you have to do, though, is bite off the corners, (or both ends) and suck the chocolate filling while it is dipped in coffee. The triple threat, created and manufactured by Arnott’s, is made up of two chocolate biscuits stuck together by a light chocolate filling and coated with (guess what) more chocolate! Yes, we can imagine you drooling. We are too.
The Pavlova is another world-class dessert argued to be originating from Australia or New Zealand. Wherever it came from, we know that we love the meringue based cake. Soft on the inside and crispy and crusty on the outside, the Pavlova is topped with sugary sweet whipped cream and fresh fruits like kiwi, berries and mangoes. The thing is, it’s up to you which fruits you want. The beauty was made upon celebrating the visit great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, in Australia.
The B List
The next set of food you are about to read may all start with the letter “B” but they are nothing short of being part of the A List. First up, who wouldn’t know the phrase “shrimp on the barbie”? Though “prawn” would be a much better term in the land of OZ, we can all agree that we love to eat barbecue, prawns all kinds of seafood.
Australia likes to go big on our burgers. Sure, you’ll argue that burgers are more American but burgers with beetroot are originally from home. Macass even decided to create one especially called the McOz. Another thing that’s big is beer and Barossa Valley’s wines. Not only are are these two partnered best with burgers all sorts of Aussie food, they can stand on their own because of their great taste!
The Barramundi or Asian Seabass translates to “large-scaled river fish” in the Aboriginal language. The fish is often served as a steak with herbs and is best eaten pan-fried and seared.
The original parmigiana might have originated from Italy with eggplant as the main ingredient but the chicken variant sure made it’s way to the Aussie hearts. Accompanied by the classic tomato sauce and melted cheese, the chicken parmigiana has become a local pub favourite and is best partnered with some equally awesome beer.
Some may find it weird to have meat stuffed inside pies as they are mostly used to the fact that pies have fruit inside them and are eaten for dessert. In Australia, however, the “dog’s eye”, as it is colloquially known, is a very common food to be eaten on the go and even after a long night’s partying. They even say that you’re not a full-fledged Aussie if you haven’t at least tried it.
Kangaroo, Crocodile and Emu
Are we on the wrong list? Nope, we’re not. The kangaroo, crocodile and emu are some of the most iconic animals in the country; the first one even going as far as being a coat of arms in Australia but through the years, they have been added to the country’s gourmet dishes. All three can be made toppings on pizza, for pie stuffing and can stand alone in various restaurant delicacies.
You see, travelling is not all about the places to go. Sometimes, it about going to taste and have a bite of the best food around the country! Travel for the most iconic food from Australia today! With Salamanda Travel, we can go ‘round in all the states and hunt down the food for some gastronomic adventures! Visit our website and check our Facebook page for some cool info!