When you are travelling around Australia, you should familiarise yourself with the popular Australian foods you might find so that you can try something new and also some local favourites depending on where you are. There’s no doubt you’ve heard about some Australian delicacies and also some stereotypical Australian cuisine. Regional cuisine throughout Australia is influenced by the fishing opportunities and wine growing regions combined with an odd blend of what has sustained the Aboriginal populations for tens of thousands of years and the traditions European immigrants brought with them compared to what some of the best and most talented chefs in the world prepare now. Australia’s cuisine is a cultural melting pot with influences from Europe and Asia as well as local farms. Here is the skinny on what you should eat during your Aussie holiday, so why not hire a car with Budget and travel all over for an Australian foodie holiday?
Sydney’s Chinatown Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By No machine-readable author provided. Enochla Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=703030
Apple Cider from Tasmania also known as the “Apple Isle” Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Apple and Pear Australia Ltd – https://www.flickr.com/photos/applesnpearsau/12897902435/sizes/o/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37909647
Australian Sheep Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Taken byfir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=322406
Billycan Campfire Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Flickr user “Johan Larsson” – http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanl/138129293/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7468470
Vegemite on Toast Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By s2art – https://www.flickr.com/photos/s2art/3403915/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39633320
Of course, we have to start out our list of Australian foods with this homegrown classic. Most will tell you that this vegetable yeast spread is an acquired taste. It’s usually a breakfast staple, served on buttered toast. Instead of a sweet jelly, this is a savory, even bitter, spread many Australians have with their morning coffee.
Flat White Coffee Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By OceanKiwi at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26249247
You may not think of coffee when you think of Australia, but coffee is a very big and popular industry. Australians are very serious about their coffee. Australia’s history with coffee dates back to Greek and Italian immigrants who brought coffee with them and serving them in cafes all over, but especially in the big cities like Sydney and Melbourne. The flat white is now a popular drink in coffee stores, but its origin comes from Australia. It is a layered coffee drink similar to a cappuccino and a latte, it is made when steamed milk is poured over a shot of espresso but has a higher milk to coffee ratio.
Bush Tucker and Witchetty Grubs
Australian Bush Tucker Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Tourism NT – Imagegallery Tourism NT, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1749615
Witchetty Grubs Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By User:Sputnikcccp – Wikipedia en, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1488500
For that real, authentic Australian outback bush experience, you can try Witchetty grubs and other bush tucker that the native Aboriginal peoples have been eating for the last 20,000 – 50,000 years. The Witchetty grubs can be cooked or eaten raw and have a nutty flavour. Of course, they aren’t something for everyone. Bush tucker refers to any type of food that is native to Australia that sustained the Aboriginal Australians or provided medicinal uses. Bush tucker can be berries and edible plants but also native Australian animals like the Witchetty grubs, but also kangaroo, emu, crocodile, goanna, and more. Coastal communities can also include fish and shellfish.
Pavlova Garnished with Pomegranates and Cream Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By User:Blueberry pancake, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3382843
Pavlova topped with Whipped Cream and Berries Photo Credit: Australia.gov.au
There is a little bit of a debate over whether Australia or New Zealand created Pavlova, but its origins suggest it was created in both countries around the same time as the 1926 visit from Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The meringue based light and fluffy dessert was created to honour her visit to Australia and New Zealand. The dish began with just meringue but has now evolved to include cornflour and vinegar in the beaten or whipped egg whites. The centre is soft and the confection is often covered in cream and fruit.
ANZAC Biscuits Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By User:pfctdayelise – Image taken using Casio QV-R41, CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=704005
ANZAC Biscuits are oatmeal cookies with a long history in Australia. They date back to World War I and ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, it is said these biscuits were made by soldiers’ wives and sent overseas since they kept well and were welcomed sweet treats often used as bread substitutes.
Emu Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Benjamint444 – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13620753
The emu is the second largest bird in the world and is the largest native bird to Australia. The meat of the emu has a much greater iron content than beef and is almost completely fat-free and low in cholesterol. It is often smoked and served cold or used as a pizza topping.
Kangaroo Meat Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=634799
Kangaroo meat is widely enjoyed throughout Australia even though it is the national animal. The meat is low in fat and has a gamey flavour. It should be prepared rare to medium so that it doesn’t get too dry. Kangaroo can be found on restaurant menus all over Australia and also packaged in grocery stores so that you can enjoy it in a traditional Australian barbecue.
Damper (Soda Bread) Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Nachoman-au – A digital photograph taken by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15772624
Damper is traditional Australian soda bread. It is a traditional campfire favourite made from wheat flour. You don’t have to be camping to have it, but why not add to the tradition?
Fish and Chips Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Mw12310 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18709465
Balmain Bug Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Refracted Moments from San Francisco, California, USA – Balmain Bug, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3008419
Fish and chips is a dish distinctly from the UK that has become a popular pub and street food around coastal areas of Australia. It is especially popular along the beach boardwalks and ocean side cafes where the fish is freshly caught. Depending on where you are in Australia, the fresh catch of the day might be different. Barramundi, flathead, King George whiting, and other fish are Australian regional favourites. If fried fish and potatoes aren’t your thing, you can find a huge variety of seafood prepared in a number of different ways because of Australia’s 11 million sq km of fishing zone. Then there are the Balmain Bugs, unique to Australia and similar to lobster with the tail an edible delicacy. Australia is the third largest fishing zone in the world; plus Australia has a big sustainable aquaculture that also provides more than 60 species of marine life for consumption including oysters, salmon, southern bluefin tuna, mussel, prawn, barramundi, yellowtail kingfish, and freshwater finfish. Lobster, prawn, tuna, salmon, and abalone are the main species of marine life that are commercially harvested in Australia.
Australian Wine Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By CocktailSteward – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1892122
Australia’s wine industry is the 4th largest exporter of wine in the world. There are quite a few wine growing regions growing shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, grenache, mourvedre, chardonnay, semillon, sauvignon blanc, and riesling grapes. When travelling throughout Australia you can sample different local and regional wines.