Traveling Down Under? 10 Popular Aussie Foods You Simply Must Try!
Australian cuisine is influenced by our multicultural heritage. One of the best features of being an Aussie is that our favourite foods feature flavours from across the world.
Early settlers originated from England, Greece and Italy. Our nearby Asian neighbours have also influenced our cuisine with delicious flavours that have been brought with them.
Australian Food Culture
Aussies are predominately meat and seafood eaters. Rich soils and fertile farming lands mean that our cattle and sheep are fat. With the differing climates in Australia, we are able to grow an abundance of quality fruit and vegetables.
Surprisingly, we don’t have a particular food culture. We have adopted so many flavours and cooking styles that our foods are an eclectic mix of delicious tastes from around the world.
An Aussie BBQ
One thing we do particularly well is barbeque! A typical Aussie BBQ is loaded with meats and seafood, rich with marinades and traditionally cooked by the man in the household.
It’s common to see a nice thick fillet steak, juicy lamb cutlets, and pork sausages sizzling together on the hotplate with onions lightly caramelising beside them. Always accompanied by a selection of salads and other sides, a barbeque is a popular style of meal when inviting friends for dinner.
Our BBQs are usually served outside under the stars as the weather is pleasant all year round.
Known as pie connoisseurs, Aussies love their meat pies and often drive miles to the best bakery for the ‘best’ meat pie for lunch.
What makes a good meat pie? A good savoury pastry and a selection of meat flavours to choose from. A good pie shop will have a number of choices available, including variations of beef with cheese, onion or mushrooms.
Fish and Chips
There’s nothing like enjoying fresh fish and chips by the beach. If you’re buying fish & chips – choose freshly battered snapper or mackerel. It really is the best!
Australians are keen fishermen – and women – and given most Aussies live around the coastline and rivers, it stands to reason we love our seafood. Some of the best fish choices include the much sought after barramundi.
Reef fish is popular, so be sure to try red emperor, snapper or coral trout. My favourite estuary fish are whiting and flathead. Atlantic salmon is farmed in Tasmania – its delicate pink colour and firm texture makes salmon one of the most popular fish choices.
Sydney is well-known for its rock oysters. The oysters from Coffin Bay in South Australia are reputed to be some of the best flavoured oysters in the world.
They are mostly served natural or kilpatrick (cooked), but you may see them with many other dressing options. If you’re looking for something different, try an Oyster Shooter!
Prawns, sometimes called shrimps in other countries, can be bought fresh from the trawler. There’s nothing that beats that ‘fresh out of the sea’ taste! Delicious as a curry, stir-fry, sandwiches or in salads.
There are two main types of crab caught in Australia, each with differing tastes and textures. Be sure to try the mudcrab, and although the name doesn’t sound very appealing, this crab is a feast on its own. Blue swimmers or sand crabs are more often available.
Australia is famous for its southern lobsters. Cooked in a variety of ways, they are a ‘must-try’ if you have the opportunity. Nothing beats a char grilled lobster with lemon and garlic butter.
The best family dinners are roasts! Roast lamb or pork with all the seasonings are the most popular roasts on any family dinner table. Accompanied with crispy roast potatoes, roast pumpkin and a serve of green peas and carrots, they will put a smile on every face around the table.
Tropical fruits are grown in the warmest climates of Australia. You will find mangos, pineapple, dragon fruit, papaya and passionfruit, along with many others.
A left-over heritage from our lads going to war, ANZAC biscuits are quick to make and remain everyone’s favourite. (ANZAC stands for Australian, New Zealand Army Corps). Check out our recipe and whip up a batch of Anzac Biscuits for your friends.
The Infamous Pavlova
The famous Australian Pavlova desert is claimed to have been created after Anna Pavlova, the Russian ballerina who gave a spectacular performance in Western Australia.
It’s a simple desert of delicate meringue baked slowly to present a crisp, lightly toasted shell with a soft marshmallow centre and topped with fresh cream and your fruit salad of choice.
Unusual Australian Foods You Must Try While Down Under
Aussies have a few quirky favourites that we try to ‘encourage’ visitors to taste where possible. Be warned – the vegemite may not be what you think!
- Vegemite – a popular spread to have on your toast for breakfast.
- Cherry Ripes – a delicious cherry coconut chocolate bar.
- Violet Crumbles – honeycomb and chocolate bar.
- Tim Tams – sandwiched chocolate biscuits dipped in chocolate.
Have you tried toast with vegemite for breakfast? What about a mango smoothie… or a Tim Tam? Please share your favourite Aussie cuisine experience!
Ann Owen is a fun loving empty-nester travelling with her husband Trevor. They are living life’s adventures and sharing their experiences on Territory Mob, their travel blog. Ann and Trevor are road trip lovers, “5 star campers” and soon to be grey nomads exploring Outback Australia. Ann loves traveling, good food, great wine, cycling, watercolours and her stress-free lifestyle.