Agriculture,  Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Travel

Australia – A Clash of Cultures in the Pacific

Australia is truly one of those places that, I think, tends to get overlooked in the culinary world but that has a very unique food culture. Australia is on my bucket list to visit one day and I thought it would be a neat place to focus on for food history this month. I discovered some really interesting food traditions for sure!

Australia is a large country. Not as big as the United States though the width of the countries are the same. Traveling from the West Coast of Australia to the East Coast is about the same distance as traveling from New York City to Los Angeles in America. However, Australia is much less densely populated than the United States. 

Much like other countries, Australian cuisine is a mixture of many different influences. What makes Australia unique is its mix of native and European foods. Because Australia was used by England for many years as a penal colony, the Europeans brought with them their foods and adapted them to what they could find in Australia. It’s very much British influenced but with a rough and ready edge to it!

Barbecuing is a very much enjoyed pastime in Australia. Because many of the British prisoners turned to farming and ranching when they arrived in Australia, beef and lamb became very popular over time. But Australians also love seafood seeing as no part of the country is completely land-locked. And occasionally, the unique meat offerings of the country such as kangaroo, crocodile and emu are enjoyed. 

brown cookies on blue wooden tableThe British influence runs over into other areas of Australian food culture too. Australians are fond of their tea like the British. They enjoy many baked goods that would look familiar in England such as Lamingtons, fairy bread and ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC, short for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, have a very specific recipe for the cookie that gets this name. Made with oats, coconut and golden syrup, they taste delicious and hold up well to travel. Here is a recipe if you would like to try them!


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