Australia’s Favourite Meals
Being a multicultural nation, Australia boasts of a vibrant mélange of cultural traditions, languages — and yes, you guessed it right — food. With people from extremely diverse backgrounds calling it a home, it’s very easy to find Thai curries, South-Asian food, Mediterranean cuisine, and the like filtering into our mainstream food scene. But, it’s equally hard to pin down a specific cuisine as something distinctly Australian. There are certain dishes, however, that can be considered as typical Australian food. While some of these have ruled our hearts (and bellies) for ages, others are more recent additions to our food repertoire.
As they say — no other nation does barbecues like they do Down Under. Besides fresh ingredients, it’s the weather that lends itself excellently to the whole idea of backyard cooking. And, no we don’t restrict ourselves to tossing “shrimps on the barbie”, rather we love to grill practically anything under the sun — be it chicken, steak, seafood or veggies and fruits.
We certainly don’t claim to be the only nation on earth to serve and love meat pies but they are nothing short of an icon in Australian culture. The most celebrated food item on the menu of service station, bakeries, local pubs, and fast food chains all over the nation, this humble meat and gravy filled, flaky pastry case is often considered to be Australia’s national dish. Not to forget, the “Official Great Aussie Pie Competition” has been a national event since 1990.
Another cultural icon in Australia (according to the National Trust of Queensland), the lamington is a sponge cake dipped in chocolate sauce, coated in desiccated coconut, and sometimes filled with cream or strawberry jam. Named after its creator Lord Lamington (once a governor of Queensland), these sweet snacks are commonly served with tea and coffee.
This is a dessert with a meringue base, covered in freshly whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit, and the contrast between its crisp outer shell and light, fluffy inside creates a unique, unforgettable taste. Believed to be inspired by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova following her tour of Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s, its origin remains a hot topic for debate between us and our Kiwi cousins, to this day.
Originally known as a ‘soldier’s biscuit’ or ‘ANZAC tile’, this much-loved Australian food comes with an interesting back story. A commemoration of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in World War I, this biscuit is associated with Anzac Day on April 25.
The Anzac biscuit was baked by the womenfolk in the soldiers’ families during the war and sent to soldiers. They were perfect for the purpose because the basic ingredients of these biscuits — rolled oats, flour, sugar, grated coconut, golden syrup, butter, bicarbonate of soda and water — were able to stand the long boat journeys.
Our love for Vegemite is world famous. In fact, in much of the world outside our country, Vegemite is considered to be the signature Aussie food. Made from brewer’s yeast, Vegemite is a classic breakfast item, best enjoyed as a thin layer on buttered toast.
While these are some of the most-loved Aussie delicacies, they are just the tip of the iceberg considering the range of cuisines that have been making their way into our palette for many decades.