10 Australian Foods You Have to Try (According to an Australian)

There are many countries that are famous for their food: France, Italy, Mexico, Vietnam. Australia, by contrast, is not really renowned for its cuisine. When you think of Australia, you’re probably much more likely to think of beaches, koalas, or maybe Chris Hemsworth.

As an Australian, however, I would like to take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about the food you should try while visiting the Land Down Under!

#10: Vegemite

 
 

If you ask people from overseas to name an Australian food, chances are that vegemite will probably be their go-to answer. Most people can’t leave Australian shores without giving it a go – and then wondering whether Australians reallyeat it. Take it from me, we do, but not the way that most tourists try it. Never, ever eat vegemite with a spoon! It needs to be spread lightly on bread (especially if you are a beginner). Even then, it’s quite the acquired taste – but you have to do it!

#9: A Tim Tam Slam

 
 

Once you’ve braved vegemite, you’re ready to try a much nicer and sweeter Australian staple: the Tim Tam! These are delicious biscuits featuring chocolate between two biscuit layers, and then covered off in even more chocolate for good measure. They’re a staple in most Australian households, and we’ve even created our own modification, the ‘Tim Tam Slam’. This involves biting off two opposing corners of the Tim Tam, and then sucking hot coffee or tea through the biscuit. Seriously. You have to try it!

#8: Chicken Parmigiana

 
 

Picture: The Taste of Aussie

If you ask an Australian what the most popular Australian dish is, chances are they’ll go with a chicken schnitzel with our favourite parmigiana (tomato, ham and cheese) topping. Now, I know that we most definitely did not invent the chicken parmigiana, but it’s such an Aussie favourite that I just had to include it on the list. It always tastes best in a pub, especially in the country!

#7: Pavlova

Picture: The Taste of Aussie

There is a bit of debate about whether this tasty desert is actually Australian or was instead swiped from our neighbours over in New Zealand. Either way, a pavlova is a delicious treat with a cake base made from meringue, then topped with copious amounts of whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit. Everyone’s grandma has a special recipe, but they can also be bought from the grocery store.

#6: Barramundi

 
 

Picture: The Taste of Aussie

Over the last couple of decades, Australian cuisine has come a long way and there is a growing ‘modern Australian’ style that utilises local ingredients. One of the staples of this type of cuisine is the barramundi, a very tasty type of sea bass that is indigenous to the top of Australia. Different restaurants offer their own spin on how to cook and serve this delicious fish, but my preference is to keep it simple and just serve it with a side of salad and squeeze of fresh lemon.

#5: ANZAC Biscuits

From this list, you might be seeing that many popular Australian foods are sweet. ANZAC Biscuits are no exception, however they also have a little more significance – they are a style of biscuit made from treacle and oats, that was invented during the first world war to send to troops stationed overseas. Nowadays, they are sold pretty much everywhere, and are also really simple (and cheap) to make.

#4: Emu or Kangaroo Steak

 
 

It seems a bit mean to eat the animals on your national emblem, but Australians love a good emu or kangaroo steak. Both meats have very tasty flavours, and also are much better for you than other meats like beef or pork. They should both be cooked rare or medium-rare, as they both tend to get a bit dry if they are over cooked. They are served in many Australian restaurants, and you can also pick up kangaroo steaks or sausages in the big grocery stores.

#3: Moreton Bay Bug

Don’t let its not-so-delicious name put you off, this seafood treat is really tasty and indigenous to Australia. Plus, it looks more like a lobster than a bug (and tastes quite similar). Found in the waters all around Australia but especially in the northern part of the country, the Moreton Bay Bug is considered quite a delicacy and part of the burgeoning Modern Australian cuisine. It’s definitely a treat whether served on its own or as part of a more creative dish.

#2: Lamingtons

You might have noticed from this list that my country has quite the sweet tooth, and another one of our favourite treats is the Lamington. Considered as the ‘National Cake of Australia’, a lamington is a treat made from two layered squares of sponge cake, with jam and cream between them. The cake is then covered in chocolate, and rolled in a generous layer of desiccated coconut. Yum! The Lamington is tasty on its own, but is particularly delicious when served as an accompaniment to tea or coffee.

#1: Witchetty Grubs

Photo: Australian museum

For the brave traveller who really wants to sample a unique Australian food, you can’t go past a witchetty grub. These nutty-tasting bugs (that look a bit like fur-less caterpillars) have been eaten by Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years and are considered the quintessential ‘bush tucker’. Although it takes a bit of a leap of faith to put one in your mouth, I promise they really do taste quite good! Plus, eating one makes a great story.

Written by Georgie from Australia

 

 

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