13 Weird but delicious Aussie foods
Your initiation into becoming a True Blue Aussie starts with eating these. Open wide…
Sure, Native Aussie foods don’t necessarily sound like a mouth party when you describe them out loud. But the same could be said for some of the world’s favourite treats.
Australian cuisine is more of a rewarding challenge, like the French. Instead of frog’s legs and snails, we have crocodile and kangaroo. Instead of baguette and cheese, we have… well… fairy bread.
The truth is, once you try these things, you too will fall at the mercy of their yumness. Crack a Tim Tam and you’ll be doing it all day – just ask the employees in every office building in the city centre. Bring a pavlova to a dinner party and you’ll be politely declining phone numbers on napkins all evening. Whip up some damper in the outback and you’ll be more comforted than if your mum was right there with you.
Here are some of different dishes of Down Under and why you’ll probably love them:
This is the ultimate ‘Grandma treat’ of Australia. A soft, simple cake covered in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. It sounds simple, but when fresh, they’re like a sweet mouthful of cloud in the skies of heaven. Keep an eye on the coconut-on-chin and chocolate-in-teeth factor – these things are like a booby trap for flirtation.
2. BBQ-ed snags on white bread
Fried sausages with tomato sauce (ketchup) and mustard, folded diagonally into a slice of cheap white bread. The crispy richness of the sausage, the zesty zing of the sauces and the sweetness of the crappy bread. It all works together like a dirty little team.
3. Witchetty grubs
We don’t know how else to say this… but… witchetty grubs are literally bugs native to the Australian outback. Indigenous Australians have loved these as a healthy, raw snack option for thousands of years. They may look like worms, but they taste like nuts. You won’t know until you’ve tried them.
4. Vegemite and butter on toast
Vegemite isn’t much to look at (or sniff at), but once you overcome this, you’ll be addicted. The best way to cop this yeasty spread is on buttered toast, in the morning, with a hot drink. Probably Milo. Probably how mum used to make it. HOT TIP: if you’re feeling fancy, you could even whack some avocado on top…
This campfire special is pretty much a scones-and-bread-loaf lovechild. Traditionally cooked over the coals of a campfire, this dish was a go-to for swagmen (labourers who travelled by foot and carried their stuff in a swag) and stockmen (men who moved livestock from one place to another). This 4-ingredient-recipe will make you a hit in the outback – all it needs is a smear of butter and a loud, proud ‘Waltzing Matilda’ sing-a-long sesh.
6. ANZAC cookies
These cookies became famous during World War I, when they were sent to Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers at battle overseas, because the ingredients didn’t seem to go bad quickly and could survive the long journey at sea. Turns out, they were also delish, and have since become a staple baking fave. Dunk this guy in your coffee and you won’t regret it.
7. Fairy bread
Okay, so this is just rainbow sprinkles (what Aussies call ‘hundreds-and-thousands’) on buttered white bread. We see what you’re seeing. We know what you’re thinking. And technically you SHOULD outgrow this around 10 years old. However, it tastes so good that if it weren’t for pride and grown up concerns like nutritional value, Aussies would still be snacking on this until the very end.
8. Pie floater
Now, listen carefully. This dish, native specifically to Adelaide, is quite literally a bowl of pea soup with a meat pie submerged in the middle of it and garnished with tomato sauce (ketchup). We know. It may be hard to explain how or why this ugly hybrid thing came to be, but one thing is certain: it is somehow delicious.
9. Macadamia nuts
If you didn’t know these were native to Australia, you’re forgiven, as it’s a common misconception. However, they are, so just remember that the next time you’re chomping down on your delicious nutty muesli. These soft, round nuts are distinct in their flavour and have been pretty darn influential to the standard of granola as we know it today.
Meringue layered with cream, layered with more meringue, layered with MORE cream, topped with summer fruits. This should never require convincing.
11. Tim Tams
The natural habitat of this distinctive chocolate biscuit is the standard office building. These cookies are like punctuation in the life of a nine-to-fiver, marking the end of the morning, the end of lunch, the end of the afternoon… and the end of any walk through the shared kitchenette, really. But try before you judge, people. They are WEIRDLY addictive.
It’s our national animal after all, so why not chuck it on the barbie and season the crap out of it? It has a strong, gamey flavour of its very own, and tastes best when not overcooked. So, sorry well-done-lovers, you might want to give this menu a miss.
13. Meat pies
The meat pie definitely was not INVENTED by Australians, but it still makes this list, because we’ve eaten enough of them to have essentially digested it as part of our national identity (see what we did there?). Whether it was homemade by a mate with Tinder-bio-worthy culinary skills or picked up luke warm from the corner servo (translation: service station), you’ll know all about why we love it once you board this pie train.