Monday, September 16, 2013

Aussie Food

In my Tasty Food post I ran through a list of things that I have been eating, but those weren't necessarily Australian classics.  Today I'm here to showcase the reason why I've put on a few kilos in the last few months.  The real reason is I have no will power, but my scapegoat is tasty, tasty Australian food.

Lamington slice

First of all, let me explain the "slice" part.  I would interpret a slice as a bar, though this specimen is more like a single serve piece of cake.  There's lots of different slices to choose from, but none are more famous than the lamington slice (or simply a lamington).  You may remember we took a trip last year to Lamington National Park, but I have no idea if and how these two things are related.  They must be, don't you think?

Lamingtons are squares of white sponge cake, coated on all sides with a thin layer of chocolate and covered in coconut.  Sometimes there's a layer of something sandwiched in the middle (jam or cream), which I prefer, otherwise it gets quite dry.

Anzac biscuits

Biscuit means cookie in Australia, and I really take issue with that.  "Chocolate chip biscuit" is not a thing!  Naturally, the word biscuit is too long for Australians to pronounce, so they've shortened the word to bikkie...which has the exact same number of syllables.

Anzac bikkies are pretty plain (yet tasty) cookies made from rolled oats, so they're similar to an oatmeal cookie and are usually made really hard.  Anzac means Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, which was a wing of the armed forces that fought in World War I.  They are still a big deal and there's a national holiday for them 100 years later.

The cookies were invented for them, because the ingredients held up well and didn't spoil.  You can find them in any grocery store or bakery year round, but around Anzac Day it's pretty much a national requirement to stuff your face with them.  I ain't complaining!


I've actually never had a pavlova, or pav as it's lazily called.  It's a pretty simple concept: meringue base with fruit and whipped cream on top.  It's especially popular around Christmas because that's summer, and that's when fruit is in season.

You can put any fruit you want on a pav but I always see pictures of it with kiwi and strawberries.  There's even a pavlova McFlurry at McDonald's!  I need to try a pav one of these days, but I think I'll pass on the McFlurry (and save myself for a Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry the next time I'm in the UK around Easter).

Tim Tams

Tim Tams are the one thing I had actually heard of before moving here.  They're hard to describe, but I heard someone say they're like a mix between a Twix and a Kit Kat and that actually makes a lot of sense.  There are two layers of malted biscuit (whatever that means) with a thin layer of chocolate cream between them.  They're OK, but on their own not worth getting Type II diabetes.  Doing a Tim Tam Slam, however, is totally worth the 'beetus.

A Tim Tam Slam is biting off the ends and using the Tim Tam as a straw to suck up coffee or tea.  I've only done it with coffee before and it is so freaking good!  You have to do it quick, because the hot coffee dissolves the Tim Tam innards really quickly and you can make a real mess if you haven't mastered the technique.  If you ever come across Tim Tams I implore you, wait to eat them until you've got coffee to go with it.  Delish!

Obviously there's more food native to Australia than just dessert, which I just now realized has dominated this post.  I really think it's cornerstone to Australian culture, though, because morning and afternoon tea is so huge here.  Almost like a fourth and fifth meal of the day!  If you're at a meeting or conference or something like that there will always be morning and afternoon tea served, with a whole spread of tasty baked goodies.  It. Is. Awesome.

So let's move on to real food before I give myself a cavity.

Aussie burger

Ok, this is not a real name but it's found on menus all over the land and that's what I've taken to calling it.  Hamburgers are often topped with a pineapple ring, a slice of beetroot and a fried egg.

Tell me that's not awesome!

There's not always cheese included on this glorious concoction but with the rest of that stuff, who needs cheese anyway?  Beetroot is big here; I've never seen it used so widely or frequently before.  And I love it!  In Norway beetroot is pretty widely used, but it's pickled and sour and ick ick ick.  Here it's just delicious and a little bit sweet.  An awesome addition to an awesome burger.


Barramundi, also known as barra, is a fish.  A fish I had never heard of until I got here and saw it on menus and watched them cook it on MasterChef.  Then I ate it and it was good.  A pretty simple story, really.

This picture is the very first meal that Martin ate in Australia. On the very night we arrived we dove into mysterious, unknown culinary delights!

Aww, that picture makes me sad.  It feels like it was just a few months ago, but our first night here was 17 months ago!  Time flies.  Sad face.

Kanga Bangas

Kangaroo meat in sausage form, mmm mmm good.  Sausages go by many names: snags to the Aussies and bangers to the Brits.  I guess they needed a cute little name for the 'roo sausages so they adopted the British word, mangled it like they do every other word, and kanga bangas were born.

I haven't had kanga bangas very much, as I prefer my kangaroo in steak form.  Kangaroo meat is pretty gamey, but nowhere near as gamey as the moose or reindeer I grew accustomed to in Norway.  I don't imagine I will eat kangaroo anywhere else in the world so I'm getting my fill while I can in any shape possible.

These are but a few Aussie specialties, but in the dessert department I've pretty much covered the basics.  If you come to Australia definitely take your taste buds on walkabout!

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