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Australia has become one of the most favorite countries to visit. It is because this huge country in the southern hemisphere has a bunch of natural and cultural features that interest tourists from around the world. However, the country is not known for its cuisine despite having some appetizing local Australian food.
Still, everyone needs to eat something, right? When visiting foreign places, it seems a waste not to try local dishes and just eat common food that fits everyone’s tongue. That is why you need to know the evolution of Australian cuisine in order to boost your appetite to dig that kind of cuisine.
How did Australian Cuisine History Begin?
The history of cuisine in Australia can be traced back to 1788 when a European fleet arrived in Sydney. They planned to grow food in the soil as the local Aborigines only had a hunter-gatherer diet of bush food, which the Europeans did not like too much. But, bush food turned out to be nutritious and has become a favorite nowadays.
In earlier years until about the 1950s, Australian cuisine was similar if not the same as the cuisine of Ireland and Great Britain. The common foods were meat, vegetables, puddings, and tea and beer for the drinks.
What is Australian Cuisine Known for?
Australia is home to a diverse range of exotic animals, which appears to affect their food taste. Kangaroo, crocodile, emu, and snake are among their delicacies. While they enjoy exotic meats in their cuisines, it does not limit them from eating “normal” meats. So, if you want to visit Australia, you don’t have to be concerned about a lack of meat options.
It’s a dark brown paste with a savory and salty flavor. You can eat it on toast or however you prefer. Since its invention in 1922, vegemite has been the main food in Australia. It is produced from yeast extract blended with a variety of flavors and additives.
Sausage Rolls and Meat Pies
Sausage rolls and meat pies are two of Australia’s most popular dishes. A sausage roll is a long piece of baked sausage wrapped in pastry dough. These are close to meat pies but use fewer ingredients (no gravy or veg). Meanwhile, meat pies are small pies with a pastry crust that are stuffed with meat, veggies, and savory gravy.
Tim Tam cookies are one of Australia’s most popular snacks. These are common in most Australian households and come in a variety of flavors. Tim Tam is made with a delicious cream filling sandwiched between two cookies before being dipped in chocolate until completely coated.
Untoasted white bread, butter or margarine, and sprinkles are used to make fairy bread. Fairy Bread is so widely known that you can pretty much guarantee that every Australian you’ve ever met has childhood memories of this traditional Australian snack.
What Makes Australian Cuisine Culture Unique?
The Australian bush is full of hidden gems including food. Bush food or what people usually call “bush tucker” is made up of a wide range of native plants, fruits, vegetables, spices, and animals. For an estimated 60 thousand years, Bush Tucker has provided nutrition and effective medicine to Australia’s Indigenous people.
In the present day, Australians have no traditional cuisine, unlike other societies with a dominant agrarian history. Instead, Australia’s food history has been dynamic, urban, industrial, scientific, and capitalist-driven.
With the vast array of foods and techniques searching for a distinctively ‘Australian’ cuisine may appear absurd, especially in a country where the climate ranges from cool maritime to tropical. However, it is true that what Aussies eat today has been significantly influenced by what they prepared previously.
How did Australian Cuisine Culture Develop?
Traditional Australian cuisine was based on what grew in Australia and what was available. Many cultures have migrated to Australia over the past 60 years, resulting in a diverse mix of food for the evolution of Australian cuisine.
Aboriginal Australians had been living as hunters and gatherers for thousands of years before European colonization in the 18th century. This diet frequently included emu, kangaroo, moths, lizards, and snakes, also berries, roots, and honey. The Aboriginal diet included a lot of seafood, which was typically caught with hooks or spears.
The staples of the native diet were difficult for the British settlers to get used to when they first arrived in 1770. Water scarcity was also a surprise after its plentiful supply in the United Kingdom.
To supply a more recognizable European diet, the settlers invested a lot of time and energy in developing agriculture. There were also familiar crops planted, along with the introduction of sheep and cattle on the continent.
The settlers’ diet consisted primarily of flour, which was used to make bread or damper, a dense, thick bread. Tea was the preferred beverage, apples were worm-enriched, and the meat was salted to preserve it.
Some of the early explorers were actually dependent on the local Aboriginal people for food. According to research, the traditional Aboriginal hunter-gatherer diet was full of nutrients. Bush foods such as wattleseed, lemon myrtle, lilly pilly, and quondong are popular these days and can be found on restaurant menus all over the world.
Modern Australian Cuisine Today
The palates of migrants to Australia have heavily influenced modern Australian cuisine. Immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have introduced a wide variety of new flavors. The major cities have a wide selection of restaurants, and cuisines from many countries have had a significant impact on Australian tastes.
Because vegetables are so important to Asian and Indian cuisine, vegetarianism and veganism have recently gained more cultural acceptance in Australia. Additionally, a greater number of people are becoming aware of kosher and halal eating customs.
Traditional bush tucker foods and game meats are considered a novelty or specialty foods in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the national dish of modern Australia is a meat pie, which is usually filled with steak.
Feel hungry yet? By understanding the evolution of Australian cuisine, you would not have to worry again that you will get hungry when you are in the country. You can just try any local food you like. For more reference, you can check Australia’s coffee culture or the best Australian wineries to visit articles.