Posted 07 August 2001 - 07:45 PM
Posted 07 August 2001 - 08:40 PM
Posted 09 August 2001 - 06:53 PM
I'm going to answer this question by describing the kinds of foods you might eat - or merely encounter - if you were to visit Australia.
If you have Aussie friends, they'd most likely insist that you try Tim Tams - Australia's answer to Oreo cookies and our most-loved uniquely Australian product. A Tim Tam comprises two rectangular chocolate biscuits, wedged together with chocolate icing and dipped in chocolate.
Your Aussie friends - if they're regular people, not rampant foodies - might also feel inclined to introduce you to the delights of Aussie-style burgers. That is, a regular burger with a couple of slices of canned beetroot added.
If these same Aussie friends decided to cook you an Aussie meal, it'd most likely be a reef-n-beef / surf-n-turf backyard barbeque. That is, seafood and meat. There'd be a few self-serve salads, and maybe a Pavlova for dessert. A Pavlova is a meringue that is crunchy on the outside, marshmallowy on the inside, topped with cream and doused liberally with passionfruit pulp.
But say you called in on these friends at short notice, and they said "stay for dinner". What would they be eating? An Asian-style stir-fry, perhaps. In a recent survey, 90 percent of respondents said they own a wok and make stirfry at least twice week...
TO BE CONTINUED!
Posted 14 August 2001 - 10:18 PM
Visitors to Australia will inevitably encounter all manner of native-animal jerky at our international airports. Very few Aussies eat this stuff. It's produced primarily for wealthy Asian tourists, who lug it back to the orient by the Louis-Vuitton-suitcaseful.
Fresh cuts of native animal, on the other hand, are an increasingly popular choice for Aussie chefs and home cooks.
Crocodile meat - with a taste and texture somewhere between mild white fish and chicken - is not widely available and scarcely used by at-home cooks. You don't even encounter it that often in restaurants - except in Far North Queensland, where upscale Japanese restaurants, catering for Japanese tourists, typically offer crocodile teriyaki; and, where expensive "Aussie-style" steakhouses, with few Aussie patrons, offer crocodile steaks.
Wallaby meat (wallabies are a lot like kangaroos, but smaller and cuter) has found favour at some exceptional restaurants in Tasmania and in Victorian capital Melbourne. It also seems to have found a market beyond avid food enthusiasts. I know some unadventurous meat-and-three-veg blokes who now BBQ wallaby a couple of times each week. They rave about it - and I've never known them to rave about anything before.
Kangaroo meat isn't something you see a lot of at better restaurants. Not many people cook it at home. Tends to be most widely used as pet food.
Possum meat is a rarity. I don't think it was used in a restaurant until the mid-90s when one of Australia's great chefs, Cheong Liew, shocked the nation by serving possum ragout. He's Malaysian-born, and he has that Malaysian resourcefulness when it comes to food. That is, the attitude that any living thing is edible. At an infamous degustation dinner, he served mystery courses. Only after dinner did he reveal that one of them involved deer penis. But more about Cheong Liew later.
Posted 15 August 2001 - 08:08 AM
I tasted kangaroo at the Sugar Club in London. Peter Gordon, New Zealander, is the chef. I chuckled when I read "Kangaroo meat isn't something you see a lot of at better restaurants. Not many people cook it at home. Tends to be most widely used as pet food." Do you think it becomes exotic overseas? Or do people in NZ eat differently than those in Australia?
Posted 16 August 2001 - 12:11 AM
I guess roo meat must become more exotic overseas, because it'd be expensive to ship, and therefore quite pricey. People wouldn't pay a premium for something they thought to be pedestrian.
Glad you like our website, hgworld.com. We've tried very hard to make it interesting!
I have Peter Gordon's Sugar Club cookbook. There are some great ideas in there. I'm particularly fond of his salmon and oyster laksa recipe - although I cheat by using a pre-prepared curry paste as a starter.
Posted 04 September 2001 - 12:59 AM
It is almost impossible to define an Australian cuisine in the same way that it is difficult to pin down what American cuisine or Canadian cuisine means.
There is also the distinction between what the 3% of the population who is excited about food experiments with and what the 97% eat on a monotonously regular basis.
At the time of white settlement of Australia there were two countries eager to colonise - the French and the English. Bummer - the English won! Just imagine what our food could have been like if the French had decided to settle here.
One trend that we are noticing is that those who treat food seriously are much more open to Asian flavours. The clean, clear flavours of especially Vietnam and Thailand.
Due to the migration patterns of the past fifty years we also have a significant population of people with an Italian and Greek background - particularly in Melbourne. This means that there is a very strong thread of Italian and Greek influences in that city.
The standard lunch snack used to be a meat pie - now, like everywhere else in the Western world, people buy sushi for lunch.
Posted 04 September 2001 - 02:31 PM
My parents are out on a visit and they brought with them 3 packets of Tim Tams . These are stashed away, only to be shared with very special people.
Aussie food has really evolved from the days when all sandwiches came with butter (actually Meadow Lea margarine) on them.
The big dinner out was at the local chinese who served sweet and sour chicken or prawns.
I try to visit yearly and the change in the food scene is incredible.
Look forward to hearing more.
My husband is addicted to Minities and my folks ship them out monthly.
Never could get into the vegemite.
Posted 05 September 2001 - 03:12 PM
Of course, Tim Tams are a big favourite of mine as well - especially the double coat ones...
Posted 05 September 2001 - 09:40 PM
Posted 06 September 2001 - 05:34 AM
But, given that there are probably authors out there trying to do this anyway, can you recommend a cookbook or two?
Posted 06 September 2001 - 11:14 PM
Re your cookbooks query, there's topic about Aussie cookbooks in this forum. I recommend a few of my favourites, and give quite a bit of information.
"Tetsuya" by legendary Aussie chef Tetsuya Wakada is my number-one top-shelf choice. Looks exquisite, contains recipes for all of his classic dishes - most of them light and delicate. To use this book successfully, you need to be reasonably handy in the kitchen and also have access to outstanding produce.
For an Aussie cookbook that you'll likely use a couple of times each week, you can't go past "Sydney Food" by Bill Granger. Dishes are simple, mostly light, and always inspired. Breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. We've cooked so many of them, and all have been outstanding. Photographs in book give you a real feel for Australia.
I know "Tetsuya" is available in the US. But I'm not sure about "Sydney Food". The latter is worth tracking down, shipping in from Australia even. It's just so useful!
Be sure to check out the cookbooks topic in this forum for more information about the above books, and a couple of others.
Posted 06 September 2001 - 11:40 PM
Thanks for posting. Great to hear from a fellow Aussie. Certainly, Aussie food has evolved over the past decade or so. But, as Roger rightly points out, probably 97 percent of Australians don't eat the way the food-obsessed 3 percent do.
I think, for a lot of Aussies even now, a sandwich isn't a sandwich without lashings of Meadow Lea. When we're doing country roadtrips, we stop in at a small-town sandwich bars, and the sandwich-makers typically find it odd that I request no margarine.
Re your sweet-and-sour memories: The big night out at the dodgy local Chinese restaurant is how we celebrated special occasions in our family, when we were kids. Forks all round, of course.
I don't think I ate a great meal, ever, until I left for university. No, I lie. The one and only great meal of my small-town, suburban childhood was freshly caught red emperor, bbq'd on a beach in the Whitsunday Islands, during a sailing holiday.
Previously, the only fish I'd eaten was deep-fried and part of the "Fisherman's Basket" special at the local pub.
All those years of culinary deprivation goes a long way towards explaining why I'm so fine-food obsessed now.
Posted 20 February 2004 - 09:30 AM
A very good friend's wife is celebrating her birthday this weekend, and has expressed some homesickness. So I thought that I would approach the egullet board in the south pacific and see what ideas they could bring to the proverbial table. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
Posted 20 February 2004 - 12:17 PM
JUST ANOTHER WALMART SHOPPER IN THE RURAL SOUTH.
Posted 20 February 2004 - 06:32 PM
Posted 20 February 2004 - 07:00 PM
Edited by ludja, 20 February 2004 - 07:02 PM.
-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"
Posted 20 February 2004 - 09:23 PM
Posted 21 February 2004 - 06:43 PM
I also crave laksa's so we make them too.
My sausage rollls: Jimmy Dean/Blue Ribbon or any good sausage in roll
mix with garlic heaps of salt and pepper, grated onion, parsley and get some Peppereridge Farm puff pastry sheets and cook inthe usual way. I make some dough using half all purpose and half self rasing flour.
The pies, add a good pnch of nutmeg to the pie stew to give it the real Aussie taste. I use my dough mixture for those as well. IF you want the recipe for the stew let me know.)
If she is from a state where they have Potato cakes or potato scallops: Slice potato into good slices (not too thin) coat in all purpose flour and dip into a mixture of equal parts self raising flour and all purpose flour - to which is added a good pinch of salt and a half teaspoon baking powder.
Deep fry till floating and golden. Serve with vinegar and salt or tomato sauce
I would even suggest if you can get some nice Alaskin Cod,(or a nice pice of BASA) to make fish and chips and wrap in white paper (get from a BOX STORE) add some battered sea scallops and some home ma\de chips. Most Aussie in America would kill for this!!!! hehehehe Each person could have their own parcel, and have a side of prawns and tartare sauce available.
Sauce: Indian stores Mint sauce Indian stores or British stores
Brown Vinegar - British sections of supermarket. pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets - most stores
Cheese and crackers: Most VERMONT style cheeses they are white! and taste very similar to tasty in Oz Cabot is a good one, and is available from Sams Club and also in Walmart. There is a 'seriously matured and and extra matured' There are also good Canadian cheeses in Sa,ms club. Kroger also has a matured cheese home brand which is from New Zealand and tastes like Mainland cheese.
Arnotts water crackers are often avaliable, but Carrs are everywhere. Of course all the European cheeses are avaliable but for that Aussie Memory.........Tasty wins over! Long as its white and not sweet hey? hahhahaha
Good luck with this meal. Let us know how she liked it.
Posted 12 April 2004 - 06:14 PM
So, what's the secret?
Most of ours are made with halibut and cod, whereas I understand Aussie chips are usually shark or whiting? Is there anything else to it?
So juicy, crunchy and good... Aussie fish 'n' chips tease me in my dreams!
Posted 14 April 2004 - 12:11 AM
Posted 14 April 2004 - 02:17 AM
Some common choices are: King George Whiting (very good fish), whiting (either a local type or imported frozen from Europe), flake (=shark, once either school of gummy shark, but now it can be any shark), hake (again, the name covers a number of fish types), flat-head, garfish (not a common, but good), snapper.
One of the good things about the fish in Australia is that they are cooked to order. Fish fillet dipped in batter and fried in front of you.
Posted 14 April 2004 - 06:50 PM
Only way I would eat it, and in a good tempura or beer batter is hard to beat.
I lament the loss of the oldtime newsprint though. I have fond memories of my fish n' chips wrapped up in yesterdays newspaper and creating a hole in the top of parcel to burrow down into that sensually warm depth!! And to tip a capful of malt vinegar over the lot was even better.
Edited by Sentiamo, 14 April 2004 - 06:51 PM.
Posted 14 April 2004 - 10:19 PM
The fish used varies with the location of the store and how 'up-market' it is. Userly there is a choice of three of four fish types, but more is not un-common.
Yes, I noticed this at the places we went. Was hard to decide! And very cool. It's not like that here at all. And I'm in an oceanfront city.
One of the good things about the fish in Australia is that they are cooked to order. Fish fillet dipped in batter and fried in front of you.
Maybe that's what it is. Around here a lot of it is breaded and then pre-frozen, or maybe just held too long or handled too much. Though I've never seen shark served in any capacity aside from Chinese shark's fin soup. One of the things that was remarkable to me in the Oz shops was seeing entire fillets to choose from out of display cases you'd expect to only find at a fishmonger's, and the fillets themselves were all in long slabs that looked like the side of a fish. As opposed to the small pieces and strips we get here. It was the greatest thing to me to lift one of those crispy succulent fillets and take a bite out of it like a slice of pizza.
If someone in Seattle could figure out how to open up an authentic Oz/NZ chip shop, my wager is they'd put everyone else out of business, excepting the places that do regional stuff like US southern style fish 'n' chips.
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I wasn't kidding about Oz fish 'n' chips teasing me in my dreams. It gets really bad, drooling while asleep with those taste memories on the brain, and waking up to the disappointment of it all. Oh well, this thread will probably make tonight even worse.
Posted 16 April 2004 - 08:37 AM
I believe they have several locations around Melbourne but not exactly sure where.