Australian food is represented by the traditional bushfoods( also known as Bush Tucker) of the indigenous Australian cuisine, the British food of the colonials, the kosher- halal and organic-biodynamic foods of the 21st century, and the ever-popular take-away foods. Vegemite( spread for toasts , sandwiches, and biscuits , owned by Kraft Foods) , Macademia Nuts, Cherry Ripe( a Cadbury chocolate ), Jaffas( a candy with cultural significance and Voilet Crumble (a Nestle chocolate bar) , not only represent the Australian culinary culture across the globe, but also command superior status in the culinary world as national Australian foods.
Classification of Australian Cuisine
Modern Australian food is, as mentioned, influenced strongly by the Asian cuisines, namely, the Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisines. The Cuisine is also influenced by the cuisines of the Mediterranean regions of Greece, Italy and Lebanon. A part of the Australian cuisine is also noted to be influenced by the Indian, French, Spanish and Italian cuisines.
History of Australian Cuisine
Australian Food is an interesting assortment of food from different foreign cuisines as well as the native cuisine. Contemporary Australian cuisine is based on the foundations of the British cuisine, though the early cuisine of the native inhabitants ruled for 40,000 years before that. The modern Australian recipes, including a vast array of fusion dishes are influenced to a significant extent by the Asian and the Mediterranean cuisines.
Australian food is prepared from a healthy perspective. Lean meat and vegetables are often prepared with low-fat, low calorie, and low-sodium criterion. Excessive usage of oil is not commonly seen, with stir-fried and steamed dishes dominating the typical Australian meal menus.
Ingredients Commonly Used by Australian Recipes
Australian food is dominated by fish and seafood recipes. Onion, white bread, tomato and sausages are other commonly used ingredients of the cuisine. A large number of Australian recipes are made with lean meat, turkey, chicken and ham. Cereals and fruit, tea, coffee, fruit juices, white and red wines, beer and milk are other ingredients that find extensive usage by the Australian cuisine. Chocolate is one of the most loved ingredients and is used in a number of desserts.
Methods of Cooking Adopted By the Australian Cuisine
Contemporary Australian food, being mostly prepared from the human health perspective, consists of steamed or stir-fried dishes. Barbecuing and roasting, especially of meat dishes, is also a common practice. Meat and vegetables are lightly cooked or cooked to the optimum extent so that their nutritional worth is not lost. Frying if done does not involve the usage of excess oil, butter or margarine or any greasy element.
Everyday/Traditional/ Modern/ Festive/ Gourmet/Fusion/ Take Away Australian Recipes
- Traditional – This cuisine dates back to the times of the native inhabitants of Australia. Their most popular foods were known as Bush Tuckers which include dishes like witchetty grubs and Bogong moths. The more recent traditional Australian recipes include meat pies (dished out with tomato sauce on peas), Chicko rolls(somewhat like the Chinese Spring rolls), and Surf and Turf( a seafood and meat dish which is eaten with a salad).
- Everyday- Damper ( an Australian soda bread), Pie Floater( A sauced upside-down meat pie placed on pea sauce), Anzac biscuits( sweet oat biscuits from New Zealand), Pavalova( a meringue dessert with a soft interior and a crispy exterior), and Lamington(a chocolate and coconut topped dessert sponge cake with an optional creamy filling ) are some of the dishes that Australians would like to eat often on a daily basis.
- Modern/Fusion– The Australian fusion food is often considered modern by the culinary society. A large number of dishes with a tasty amalgamation of European and Asian cuisines are in vogue. Australian food modified with Asian ingredients include many dishes like the Thai Green curry with Barramundi, a buffalo fillet with tandoori marinade and curried spinach , polenta made with saffron and pear, or a relish made with beetroot.
- Gourmet – Australian recipes, of the gourmet variety, are made using ingredients like Macademia Nuts, or meats of animals like the kangaroo, crocodile or the emu.
- Take Away– Fish and chips, sausage rolls and meat pies, rolls from the Asian bakeries and fast food eateries which are made by topping breads or baguettes with savory toppings like vegetable and cheese, different types of meat etc. Take Away Food from retail giants of the industry like Domino’s, Subway, Mac Donald’s Pizza Hut and Big Ben constitutes a large percentage of the fast food industry of the country.
- Christmas –a variety of seafood oysters, lobsters, prawns, crabs, Ham or Turkey. Pudding is a dessert favorite.
- Australia Day and Easter- lamb dishes
- Birthday parties – cakes are a must.
A Typical Meal as Per Australian Cuisine
Australian food is consumed as a three course meal which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from this, take away fast foods and homemade snacks are also an integral part of the Australian food culture.
- Breakfast – Traditionally Western in nature it might include a complete traditional English breakfast (breads, sausage, bacon eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans) or a lighter version with only bread toast with a spread (mostly Vegemite), cereal and some fruit. Cereal porridge is a favorite in the colder regions of the country. Flavored milk, fruit juices, tea or coffee are the beverages that are commonly included in the breakfast menu.
- Lunch – It is mostly a light affair with hamburgers, sandwiches and meat pies as the main menu items
- Dinner – The most important meal of the day, it usually includes barbecued or roasted meat, vegetables, pizza and pasta. Soups, salads and stir-fried Australian recipes dominate the dinner menu. Focaccias, sandwiches, dessert cakes, Australian wines, coffee and beer are some of the items that are included by the contemporary Australian cuisine.
Australian Food Habits
Australian food habits include commonly exhibited food behavior. Breakfast beverages like tea, coffee or milk are consumed without a sweetener, which is not a very common practice in the rest of the world. The children carry lunch boxes to school. Dinner is of the English-style comprising of meat and 3 vegetables (of which a potato dish is a mandatory inclusion). Fast food like fish and chips and the Barbie parties are highlighted features for the weekend.
Places famous for Australian Food
- Wines - BarrossaValley(Shiraz), YarraValley(Pinot noir, Chardonnay, sparkling wines), Hunter Valley( Semillon, Shiraz, Chardonnay)
- Pie Floater – Adelaide
- Seafood – Sydney
- MoretonBay Bugs – Brisbane
- Italian – Norton Street(Sydney), Lygon Street( Melbourne)
- Greek- Lonsdale Street, Melbourne