Iconic Australian Foods
Dishes Locals Like to Call Their Own
There are some iconic Australian foods that are known the world over. But there are others — including some you can find in many Mosman Park restaurants — that you might not suspect as hailing from the shores of Down Under…
Here are 10 classic Australian dishes that locals like to call their own:
1) Meat pie
Meat pies are, without a doubt, one of the most popular dishes in Australia. Usually packed with minced meat, a decent amount of beer, as well as onions, mushrooms, and gravy — and some cheese in many cases — they’re good wholesome comfort food.
They’re even more popular down here than they are in their “home” of the United Kingdom, and many Australians swear by them.
Going from main course straight to one of the nation’s most famous desserts, the Lamington is a sweet sponge cake, filled with jam and coated with chocolate and flakes of coconut.
There’s nothing not to like about this cake, and it’s something of a national favourite — particularly in Queensland.
3) Dim sim or dimmies (Aussie dim sum)
Heavily inspired by dim sum from South-East Asia, dim sim or dimmies as this dish is increasingly well known as in Australia, is a little package of meat or cabbage wrapped in thick pastry. Served either fried for maximum calories, or boiled for a moderately healthier option, dimmies usually come with your chef’s favoured version of soy sauce-based marinade.
Putting another “shrimp on the barbie” is probably the most over-used fake Aussie sentence in the world, but there’s definitely a strong seafood element to many Australian menus — particularly when cooking outside during the hotter times of the year.
Exploiting the fantastically rich waters around Australia for produce, Aussie prawns — whether barbecued or not — are a staple of cuisine Down Under.
5) Fish and chips
Lots of Australian cuisine comes directly from traditional British or Irish meals, and the beer-battered cod and chips available from pretty much any takeaway restaurant in Australia is no exception.
Heading back into dessert territory, the Pavlova is a large meringue topped with whipped cream and either strawberries or passionfruit, or sometimes kiwifruit and other berries.
Though anyone on the island will tell you that this is a classically Aussie dish, a quick hop, step, and flight away in New Zealand, local people will argue it was part of their food culture first.
The dish was apparently named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova who toured both countries in the twenties, with both nations arguing that they created the dish and named it after her before the other.
7) Tim Tams
More good dessert times here! Tim Tams are available in a wide range of flavours these days, but the basic version consisted of chocolate cream in between two layers of chocolate biscuit and covered in yet more chocolate.
What could possibly go wrong with this recipe!
A Tim Tam Slam is a popular way to consume the biscuit. Nibble off two corners, then sip your tea or coffee up through the biscuit, being sure to consume your soggy confection before it completely breaks down!
8) Anzac biscuits
These are so-named for the Australia-New Zealand expeditionary force which travelled around the globe to fight in World War One. Consisting of oats, flour, sugar, butter, golden syrup, and sometimes dried coconut, Anzac biscuits are actually different to the “Anzac wafers” — essentially hard tack — which the Australian Army was actually sometimes issued with. Anzac biscuits made following recipes similar to that listed here were really sold at home to raise money for the war effort.
Anzac biscuits are tasty, and hugely popular in Australian supermarkets. The term “Anzac” is a protected one, and biscuits must follow the traditional recipe in order to use it.
9) Black coffee and smashed avocado
Usually served with mint and lemon on wholemeal or wholegrain bread, smashed avocados first started as a brunch or breakfast staple in Australia. These days of course, they’re a popular part of hipster brunch culture in the UK, and many other parts of the world too.
A cup of coffee is, for many Australians, a required part of the dish. Check the combination out if you want to try something quintessentially Australian.
No list of Australian cuisine would be complete without Vegemite. Perhaps not a true dish in itself, or an ingredient which would make the menu of the best restaurant in Mosman Park or anywhere else, Vegemite is certainly something that almost no home in the country will be without!
Made from brewer’s yeast, this thick dark spread is the hugely popular toast topping that much of Australia runs on.
What makes Australian food unique?
Borrowing heavily from traditional British and Irish fare, Australian cuisine has benefited hugely from an influx of Mediterranean and East Asian cooking ideas, as well as the products of the country’s bountiful coastlines to become an interesting fusion.
With barbecuing food -particularly a huge range of meats — such a traditional activity, and so many different influences to draw on, the future of Modern Australian food looks bright indeed!