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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Australia - the food

We are very lucky in Australia; our food is rated amongst the best in the world. Unlike Britain, where you need to auction a kidney just to afford to buy a decent cut of meat (so my relatives have told me), we often forget our prices and quality are second to none. We win international awards for our wines, cheeses, and all sorts of produce.

So why are we mostly known for this?



I often think it's our own fault. It's not uncommon for international celebrities - innocent, guileless - to appear on our talk shows to have some smart-ass presenter offer them a whopping tablespoon of the stuff. We then wait with glee, hoping (and usually seeing) these poor souls twist their mouths in revulsion and reluctantly swallow.

I won't lie: Vegemite isn't for everyone. Yes, it's like marmite, but as I've only tasted marmite once in my life, I can't offer a proper comparison. We are quite parochial in our love for Vegemite, so its no wonder I've sometimes heard people whisper, like they're ashamed, "You know - I don't like Vegemite much".

Personally, I can take or leave Vegemite. I have a sweet tooth, so it's saltiness isn't all that palatable. Plus, as it's also yeast-in-a-jar, some people have to be very careful. Coeliacs especially, I hear. But it does have a heck of a lot of Vitamin B.

What else? Yes, we eat some of our national wildlife. I read in an interview the other week that our wildlife ambassador, Steve Irwin, actually wasn't really keen to see our animals on restaurant menus, but that hasn't stopped us. Kangaroo is the most popular - it's also very low in fat, so remember that if you're dieting. We eat buffalo (uncommonly). We eat crocodile (uncommonly). No, we don't eat Koala's (that I've heard of!)

What have I left out, fellow Aussies?

Comments on "Australia - the food"

 

Blogger D. Paul said ... (7:10 am) : 

I love the fact that Vegemite is mentioned in Men At Work's "Land Down Under." When I first heard about Vegemite as a child, I was fascinated by the idea. But then again, I was fascinated by the Scottish dish, haggis, as well. And my mother's from the Deep South, so there was some moonshine flowing through my family tree, too. There's odd culinary treats to be found darn near everywhere, I suppose.

 

Blogger Miss Frou Frou said ... (7:57 am) : 

Well who would be stupid enough to eat a spoonful of Vegemite... we all know you need to put it on 2 vitawheat biscuits with lashings of butter and squeeze them together to make worms!

My American former boss used to have to leave the room if we so much as opened a jar of vegemite she hated it so much.

What about the pavlova and lamingtons. And the pie!

 

Blogger pussreboots said ... (3:05 pm) : 

It's the saltiness of Vegemite that turns me off. I have no tolerance for salt (and don't use it in my own cooking) so the amount in Vegemite is just way too much for me. Beyond the saltiness though, it reminds me vaguely of the Hawaiian poi.

 

Blogger Iris Flavia said ... (4:15 pm) : 

My colleague ordered Vegemite via e-Bay to give it a go. I brought some white bread and butter. You should have seen the faces here in the office - of those who bravely tried it!
I thought maybe something happened to the stuff on the journey. So when I was in Perth I gave it another try. Umm. No. At Mc Donalds they had Vegemite for breakfast and I asked if I could have a piece for my colleague - and started a huge discussion Marmite - Vegemite there...
And then I read for Australia Day there was Vegemite-ice-cream available!

You know... You cannot buy pie here in Germany. Pie is something typical Aussie-like for me :-) Yum! And Coon Cheddar Cheese - bigger YUM!
Great. Now I´m hungry (for Coon)!

 

Anonymous mcewen said ... (1:09 am) : 

Sadly, you appear to be misinformed as to the delights of British cuisine. Whilst I favour Marmite, I'm quite partial to Vegemite too.

I'm delighted to hear that Koala kebabs aren't on the menu.
Cheers

 

Blogger Ana said ... (1:30 am) : 

I read an article that the Brits spend over $600US weekly on a grocery bill. That is what Americans would probably spend in one month for a family of 4. YIKES! Very interesting what is on the menu in the "Land Down Under".

 

Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (5:12 am) : 

Australian cuisine has never been mentioned before. It is certainly pricey here, as shops charge what they think they can get away with.

 

Anonymous Leigh said ... (11:57 am) : 

Tim tams apparently send Americans into orgasms, as does a lot of our chocolate. They say ours is so much nicer, they add wax to theirs?
Through AFW the ladies have gotten a poor American member hooked on Tim Tams, sending her monthly supplies. She recently visited Australia and went home with a whole suitcase jammed full of them.

Have you seen you can get Roo in Woolies now, just in there next to snags..couldn't bring myself to it but the tails make great dog bones.

 

Anonymous Imaginif Child Protection Became Serious Business said ... (7:46 am) : 

What a GREAT post for the Carnival of Australia. This is just perfect MM.

In the north of Australia (I'm in Cairns) we have a few Bush Tucker restaurants. Kangaroo and Crocodile feature heavy on the menu as does the huge variety of our native seeds and flavours. I LOVE Lemon Myrtle (a gum tree)pasta with Davidson Plum (a rainforest fruit - favorite of the Cassowary) chutney.

Mind you, I LOVE TimTams too but I don't order them at a restuarant.
When I lived in London, the Austraia Shop did well out of me!!!! And Cherry Ripes - ummmmmmm.

As for the good old Vegemite. I have it on toast when I have a salty craving. I used to give it to the babies - a weenie bit on the end of a spoon. Twenty years ago it was seen as pre food best practice for parenting! No wonder heart disease is the biggest killer in Australia.

Vegemite was banned in the States about 15 months ago. Aparently because it contained a folate additive that was in violation of their heath laws. There was a huge outcry. I wonder if that ban has now been lifted?

Thanks for joining the Carnival of Australia MM.

 

Blogger Mousey said ... (11:50 am) : 

A Canadian friend of mine recently asked me the difference between Marmite & Vegemite... I said Vegemite is much nicer LOL (can't stand marmite!) I love the stuff... in fact I'm having it on toast right now!

Oh and tim tams... *drool* ROFL

 

Anonymous Trish said ... (9:17 pm) : 

I love me some tasty emu kebabs.

 

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