Australian cuisine is one of the most exotic and diverse in the world. Its possibilities range from meat pies and vegetarian sandwiches to kangaroo fillets with young beetroot shoots and fried onions.
The heyday of Australian cuisine began recently – in the 90s of our century. All the major cities of the green mainland survived the emergence of many new restaurants, designed in the spirit of “modern Australian cuisine.” The success of the local culinary art was due to two factors: firstly, the variety and unusualness of the dishes, and secondly, cheapness.
Emigrants from all over the world brought their culinary preferences to Australia, the kitchen combined east and west, and also brought its ancient traditions, the success was tremendous. Andre Cointreau, president of the Paris Le Cordon Bleu, possibly the most prestigious culinary institute with branches in London, New York, Tokyo and Sydney, believes that if 30 years ago France was the undoubted center of world gastronomy, now this center is Australia.
“Australia is the place where 21st-century cuisine develops,” says Cointreau, believing that Australia’s culinary art will become “tomorrow’s classic culinary:”
Australia is famous for exotic fruits, seafood, meat of bulls, lambs, as well as cheese. Aboriginal food called “bush tucker” cannot be ignored. Such dishes are cooked on charcoal, for example, a dumper roll – a mixture of water and flour fried on charcoal.
Recently, enthusiastic articles about Australian cuisine have often appeared in the Western press. Australian cuisine is considered one of the reasons why you should visit the “fifth continent”. What is happening in Australia at present is rightfully called the culinary revolution. Australia is rapidly breaking into a number of world culinary powers and is aimed only at first place. This country is full of exotic animals and plants, which are neither in Europe nor in Asia, so that it has every reason to be considered the first in cooking.
Like Italy and France, Australia can be divided into several regions known for their dishes: Royal Island cream, Sydney oysters, Bowe mangoes, Coffin Bay scallops, Tasmania salmon: Each “state” has its own signature dishes.
To summarize the diversity of Australian cuisine, it can be divided into modern Australian cuisine, Asian cuisine and traditional Australian dishes and bush tucker.
Australia mixed its traditions with Asian ones. Spicy and sour soup “tom yam”, Chinese “fried rice with diced chicken and salted fish” – this is just the beginning of a huge list of dishes offered in Australia.
Traditional Australian food
Some dishes have been considered typical Australian for decades. Among them, perhaps, it is worth highlighting vegemite, lamingtons and Arnott’s biscuits.
Vegemite is the most Australian of all Australian dishes. In 1922, the Australian Fred Walker decided to make a special “yeast extract”, so that it was equally nutritious and tasty. The yeast extract was mixed with several other ingredients: celery, onion and salt. It turned out a thick dark mass that can be spread on bread, and can be used as a finished dish. During the Second World War, a new product was included in the compulsory diet of Australians and soon turned out to be so popular that it became scarce. If you are in Australia, be sure to try this healthy and delicious bread product.
Lamington – a chocolate sponge cake sprinkled with coconut crumbs. At first, the lamington was made from biscuit dough stuffed with strawberries or raspberries. Today they are usually made without jam, only occasionally they use whipped cream as a filling.
In 1865, a small Arnott tent was opened, which sold cakes. Today the company “Arnott. Biscuit LTD” supplies its biscuits to almost 40 countries. Arnott biscuits mean not only high-quality cakes for the local population, millions of Australians grew up on Arnott biscuits, and for them it is part of the history and culture of Australia.
In restaurants today, you can also enjoy Bush Tucker dishes (cooked on charcoal), real Aboriginal food, which is widely used for local products: Australian fruits and traditionally baked meat. “Tea in a pot” (tea boiled in a camping pot) will surprise even a Russian tourist. You can also try one of the most interesting dishes called “Anaboroo, Mango and Burrawong Soup”, which consists of three ingredients: a whole roasted bull in an elastic net, tropical mango, and burravo – a local nut.
Contemporary Australian cuisine is a mix of completely different local traditions. Asian spices such as lemon grass, coriander, chili and cardamom can be found in traditional local dishes. At the same time, Asian cuisine is replacing some of the traditional oriental ingredients with Australian counterparts. We recommend trying marinated beef fillet with curry spinach, with beetroot (thick beetroot sauce), fried pear with saffron palenta (cornmeal), a mixture of Indian and European style and ingredients.
The secret to a good recipe, according to Australian chefs, lies in the use of unusual Australian seafood. Balmain bugs, similar to spiny lobsters, often appear on the menu.
Special delicacies such as shark lips can be found in local markets.
In Adelaide, a vibrant town on the south coast of Australia, you can be offered a dish that you will not find anywhere else:
kangaroo in quandong sauce, a fruit called “dessert peach”. Free sale of kangaroo meat was allowed relatively recently, but the dishes have become unusually popular due to the low fat content in the meat of this animal.
Kangaroos have not been threatened with extinction for a long time, on the contrary, Australia is suffering from a sharp increase in their population. Therefore, the use of kangaroo meat in cooking, not only does not threaten the ecological balance, but also helps to solve this problem. Due to its advantageous geographical position, Adelaide occupies a prominent place on the culinary map of Australia. Its central market offers all kinds of flora and fauna, land and water. Only here are blue crabs and freshwater oysters. According to legend, the first settlers were dying of hunger, not knowing that they were next to a huge amount of food suitable for food. Today, it is already known that of the more than 20,000 plant species found in Australia, about 20% are edible.
In addition, nowadays, restaurant menu items have begun to use new products from the local vegetarian table, such as riberries, bunya nuts, wild rosel, cockatoo plum and much more.
New plants include pepper leaves, aniseed seeds and Australian acacia seeds .. This list of new ingredients also includes eel fry, freshwater yabbies and witchetty larvae, as well as crocodile and possum meat.
It should be noted that in 1965 the number of winemakers was very small, only six campaigns were engaged in the production of table wine, but by 1999 their number had increased to 109. Now Australia’s share in the world wine market is 2%, but by 2025 the goal is to achieve 6.5% .
Wine is a particularly important industry for Australia. If wool, cotton and beef – traditionally Australian exports – go abroad without any processing, then winemaking promotes the development of related industries (viticulture, packaging, trade), and, therefore, solves the problems of unemployment.
Australian winemaking has come a long way over the past decades, and many experts are confident that by the middle of the 21st century Australian wines will become as familiar and natural for our table as French or Italian.
Australian cuisine is in a stage of rapid development, and it is possible that in the future we will have the opportunity to try not only the above dishes, but also completely new ones.
The wine industry is the most dynamic industry in the Australian economy, and has undergone major changes over the past 40 years. If in the 50s the average Australian drank only one glass of wine a year, now he drinks about two bottles.