Five things you will find in an Australian kitchen….
………And four things you won’t
Take a trip through your average Australian kitchen and you will most likely stumble across the following….
- Vegemite — They go through vats of the stuff. Most people will have it on toast in the morning instead of eating a bowl of breakfast cereal. A large proportion of people still eat white bread. I think it’s because they consider brown bread to be middle class and although nobody wants to be considered a bogan (chav), they also don’t want people to think that they are hoity-toity. The worst thing you can ever say to an Australian is “I think Vegemite tastes just like Marmite.”
- Soup spoons — Every cutlery drawer has a pile of soup spoons. I have never seen an Aussie eating soup.
- Shapes — These are boxes of savoury biscuits which are an alternative to crisps (which by the way are not called crisps but chips. Chips by the way are called hot chips. I am not sure what leftover chips are called but I presume they are called cold hot chips). Anyway, there are always two or three boxes of assorted flavours of Shapes in each household. There was a public outcry when manufacturer Arnott’s introduced a “new and improved” barbecue flavour in 2016. One user reflected “They are like death in a packet. Made me cry for hours. I’ll never recover from the emotional turmoil this product has put me through.” Arnott’s response was to redistribute the original flavour alongside the new one.
- Freshly laid eggs — It’s not uncommon, even in urban areas for people to keep chooks. The word “Chicken” is seemingly too difficult for Australians to pronounce and so they call them “chooks.” Do not be alarmed to find bits of matted feather on eggs and no date stamps. It’s apparently how chooks lay them.
- A drawer dedicated to plastic water bottles and stubby holders. Stubby holders are made from the recycled wetsuits of people that have been eaten by sharks and they keep your beer cans / bottles cold and not your hands. They get far more use than the water bottles which are mostly there to make neighbours think that you exercise.
Four things you won’t find in an Australian kitchen.
- Parsnips — “Who eats parsnips these days?” asked my friend when I served him a portion, “They’re a vegetable your grandma fed you in the seventies” but he was presently surprised when I stood over him and made him eat one (cooked of course).
- Tea bags — Everyone drinks coffee. You will get the occasional old woman or metrosexual that will try to impress you by stocking “English Breakfast” tea but it will have sat in the cupboard for years on end. It’s amusing to watch an Australian making a cup as most believe it is sufficient to wave the tea bag over the top of the cup.
- Horseradish — What’s considered an essential condiment for roast beef in UK is largely unused in Australia, as is Yorkshire pudding. If they roast meat, they usually stick to lamb or chook and reserve their beef for steaks.
- A washing-up bowl — That timeless tradition that British people have of washing their dishes in a little plastic bowl containing festering water which has been handed down the family for generations, is curiously absent in Australia — they use clean water or a dishwasher.