Australia has a varied and diverse food scene that is influenced by a wide variety of international cultures. With everything from classic Australian poultry on the barbeque, to higher-end steak houses or Japanese fine dining, the lucky country has something for everyone. But exactly how did the Australian food landscape come to be? In this blog post, we will be taking a deep dive into the history of Australian food so we can understand its evolution.
Overview of Australian Cuisine
Australian cuisine is rather hard to define as it is characterised by a wide variety of flavours and influences. While it has largely been shaped by its multicultural heritage, the traditional foods of the Aboriginal population are unique and play a big part in the country’s identity. The aboriginal people have a strong connection to the land and utilize methods such as smoking and grilling to cook native ingredients such as kangaroo, emu and bush fruits in their dishes. These more historical dishes have a big part to play in the culinary landscape as a who but also the cuisine of Australia is constantly innovating with influences from around the world.
The Arrival of European Settlers
The first to settle in Australia was those from the European continent and this meant that they would also influence the food of the country as they brought with them their own cooking methods and ingredients. This sparked a bit of an evolution in Australian cuisine with the English settlers combining both cultural tendencies together to result in unique dishes such as Damper and other popular staples. As more immigrants from the European continent arrived the development of the food landscape became increasingly varied, with Italian, Greek and even Middle Eastern foods being popular. All in all, we see these influences throughout the country making Australia an interesting melting pot of culture and cuisine.
How Asian Flavours Influence Australian Dishes
The influence of Asian flavours on modern Australian dishes has been undeniable in recent years. With the arrival of Chinese cultures as well as South East Asian immigrants, the country has an array of influences from the entire Asian continent. Aside from many local restaurants this also means that fusion dishes become more popular with Australian chefs integrating the aromatic ingredients of Asia with Australian dishes. Everything from pork belly and steamed bao buns to laksa noodle soup, Australian cuisine has been transformed with the addition of these exciting and varied flavours. Whether you’re a fan of comforting curries or spicy stir-fries, you will be able to find something new and delicious in Australian kitchens.
Unique Meats and Delicacies
One major unique point about Australia is its meats and ingredients that are not found anywhere else in the world. This is because the entire continent is rather separate from the rest of the world, meaning its own unique species of fauna have developed over time. Among these unique ingredients are meats such as kangaroo, emu and crocodile which offer flavours that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. While you may feel slightly apprehensive to try these meats you’ll be surprised at the flavour and nutritious content they provide. If you are ever in Australia be sure to give these vastly different meats a try and see the true depths of Australian cuisine.
Popular Australian Dishes
Australia is truly a food lover’s paradise and while you’ll be able to find many varied dishes there are some unique and stand-out foods. Let’s take a look at a few so you can get an idea of what to try next time you visit the lucky country.
Barramundi is also known as the East Asian sea bass and is a dish that can be found all over Australia. It is used for either steaming, baking or even frying and is one of the most popular fish dishes in the country. The flavour is mild, and slightly sweet with the flesh having a white and meaty characteristic.
This Australian classic is a must-try for anyone curious about the country’s cuisine. It is a yeast-based spread that was developed during wartime as a food when resources were scarce. It is very high in vitamin B and sports a very salty flavour. Most Australians eat it with toast and butter to make it more palatable, as it is quite intense.
If you’re wondering about Australian dessert, then one go-to is the iconic lamington. This dish is essentially a sponge cake that is coated with chocolate sauce, and coconut and is usually eaten with a cup of tea–or “cuppa” as most Australians would call it. If you have a sweet tooth, then the Lamington should be on your list to try.
I hope we’ve given you an interesting rundown of the Australian food landscape. The large range of cultures influences and delicacies make it quite unique and going through all the foods may take quite some time. So make sure you explore yourself and see what additional flavours the country has to offer next time you visit.