The gastronomy of Australia is characterized by a set of different typical foods that reflect its multicultural historical past: the indigenous gastronomy of the Australian aborigines, called bush tucker or bushfood, the British and Irish cuisine of the first European colonizers who came mainly from the British Isles and the contributions of Asian and Mediterranean cuisine brought by immigrants who arrived after the First World War .
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- 1 Story
- 2 Australian cuisine
- 3 Forest cuisine
- 4 Australian foods
- 5 Sources
For the first 100 or 150 years – after Europeans settled in Australia, living conditions in most parts of the country were difficult. The earliest pioneers came mostly from Britain or Ireland , and encountered difficulties in planting vegetables or caring for livestockin irregular spelling of the country, different from the conditions to which they were accustomed. Lack of refrigeration forced cooks to use traditional methods to preserve food, such as salting meat or coating it with fat, to also reduce the risk of poisoning. The enormous distances between the areas in which the pioneers settled made the transportation of fresh produce almost impossible.
In the early days of European settlement , meals were generally simple and tasteless. The typical English dish consisting of ‘meat and three types of vegetables’ was the most consumed. But the wave of immigrants who came to Australia after World War II led to the mixture of different cultural traditions, and this unique flavor if made a hole in the kitchens of the restaurants of the country .
Thanks to the construction of motorways, transport was improved and refrigeration brought a huge increase in the farmers ‘and farmers’ market. Farmers and farmers expanded the variety of their products, resulting in European and Asian immigrants having access to the products they used in their home countries to cook.
All the great cities of Australia witnessed the opening of a host of new restaurants that called themselves ‘Modern Australian Cuisine’, with highly inventive chefs dictating their own rules and adventurous customers celebrating the new flavors. For Australia this meant waking up to a new gastronomy.
Perhaps because Australia is such a young country, Australians have never felt tied to ancient culinary traditions. In short, when Australian cuisine began to flourish in the 1980s there was no rule. Australian chefs did not intend to create a common style but rather wanted to push the limits and develop their own creations.
The powerful flavors from Asia have been adopted by many of the traditional European dishes and the Asian cuisine that you will find in Australia has incorporated great local ingredients, yes, always emphasizing the freshness of those products. For example, barra mundi, one of Australia’s most valued fish, is used to create a Thai curry or buffalo steaks in an Indian Tandoori.
With the awakening of Australian cuisines, a large number of ingredients from native flora have reached the kitchen and made their appearance on many menus: delicious citrus fruits originating from the rain forests, wild rosellas or kakadu plums; aromatic herbs from the forests, tomatoes originating from the desert, and exquisite kangaroo or amu meat. The list of new ingredients also includes elvers and Norway lobsters, not forgetting, of course, the delicate crocodile meat.
Kangaroos are not raised on farms. Anyone who has seen a JUMP kangaroo will understand why. Kangaroo meat comes only from selective killing carried out by professionals. Although this type of meat is gaining many followers in the international market, there is still some suspicion among tourists who come to Australia, as they see kangaroos as too beautiful an animal to eat, or they think it is CRUEL to kill kangaroos, or that the kangaroo is not appropriate for human consumption. In fact, kangaroo meat is one of the healthiest red meats, high in protein, low in fat (only 2%, and 40% of this total is healthy, polyunsaturated fat). Kangaroo meat tastes much stronger than other farm-raised meats and is very tender if cooked properly. It also remains in good condition for longer thanks to its low fat content.
And of course there is no lack of kangaroos in Australia. There are more kangaroos in Australia today than when Europeans arrived on the continent, about 200 years ago. It is estimated that the number of kangaroos in the country exceeds 50 million. The development of irrigation systems, the improvement of pasture land and the eradication of predators have created a paradise for these friendly animals. In 2002 the number of kangaroos that the law allowed to hunt was increased from 5.5 million to 7 million a year.
Kangaroo meat is in full swing if left a little raw. Preparation is essential, otherwise this meat could dry out and be hard on the palate, generally due to the low fat content.
It is typical to hear an Australian outside Australia, whether traveling or residing in any other country, that one of the things he misses most about Australia are those foods that he has grown up with. But doesn’t that happen to all of us?
The quintessential Australian food is Vegemite, famous not only for the adoration it arouses in millions of Australians but also for the revulsion it creates in foreigners. Many tourists coming to Australia confidently taste Vegemite, hoping to taste something similar to chocolate . The victim’s facial expressions when the salty taste explodes in the mouth are cause for laughter among Australians.
Another national food is what Australians call Chiko Roll, similar to a spring roll, designed to be eaten with one hand while holding a beer in the other. The ingredients used are lamb meat, celery, cabbage, barley, rice, carrots and different spices. The coverage is normally thick, to allow them to be taken to football matches. It was originally called Chicken Roll but the name was changed to ‘Chiko Roll’ to avoid confusion, since it does not include chicken.
The most consumed chocolate bars by Australians are Violet Crumble. Another typical sweet is Jaffa cookies, round orange-flavored cookies covered in chocolate. But without a doubt, the quintessential Australian cookies are Tim Tams. These are not eaten like any other cookie, but there is a whole ritual. This consists of biting both ends of the cookie and then using it as a straw, absorbing any liquid, be it coffee, tea, chocolate or liquor , through it. If you’re lucky, the inside of the cookie should come apart while the outside remains intact.
Australians also hold small meat pies, generally cooked from meat and gravy. In South Australia they are sometimes served upside down, over a pea soup and topped with tomato sauce. It is what you will find if you ask for a ‘Pie Floater’.