What is Australian Food?
Will I like Australian food when I move there?
Many kinds of food are available in Australia. After successfully making the move Down Under you will likely be craving some comforts from back home. Don’t worry, you’ll usually find food from your own country available in most major cities and some smaller towns and supermarkets.
If you find yourself wanting to try the local foods after emigrating to Australia, we cover a few of our favourite local eats below to get you started.
Australian food is not generally spicy, and there really is a huge choice of fresh fruits and vegetables available year round due to the great climate. Australians have taken to many dishes from other nations and is a truly diverse food destination. Here we cover a few more uniquely Australian foods you might like or will at the very least, certainly come in contact with when you move to Australia.
Famous Australian Foods Explained
The Sausage Sizzle
You will encounter sausage sizzles in Australia in all manner of times and places. It is a national tradition! A sausage sizzle will always occur outdoors, and involves BBQing some “snags” (meat sausages) and placing one directly on to a plain slice of bread. From there you will be invited to add a few barbequed onions and some tomato sauce to your sandwich and then you are done.
This is called a sausage sandwich, and they are loved all over Australia. Expect to find them happening at the entrances to hardware stores on weekends, election voting locations, sporting matches and at friends houses.
The sausage sizzle is so ingrained in Australian culture that on election days the sandwich is known as the “democracy sausage” as the promise of the tasty snack while waiting in line to vote helps ensure everyone makes it to the polling booths!
There is even a fun an app to track which polling stations are serving “Democracy Sausages” and which have run out, so you can make sure you choose your voting destination carefully.
This is a quite perfect example of an Australian Sausage Sizzle. Note very importantly it is NOT a hot dog. It is essential the sausage is on a plain slice of bread and not a bread roll of any kind because this would be sacrilege in the eyes of many Australians.
It is further important to note the onion is placed on top of the sausage and not directly on the bread.
This was a matter of great nation contention when the Bunnings chain of hardware stores, who allow local community groups to host fundraising sausage sizzles in their store carparks every weekend, decided onions should go on the bottom for safety reasons. This idea made national news and threatened to engulf the Prime Minister (we’re not jopking!). The ‘underdog’ notion was laughed off as ridiculous because as every Australian knows, the answer is simple. Onions go on the top.
Our Next Favorite Australian Food! Burger with the Lot (hint – it will always include beetroot)
A burger with the lot is pretty predictable, however it can be a shocking first experience for a new comer. Expect to have on your burger along with your beef patty the following:
Pineapple ring (from a can)
Beetroot (from a can)
Salt (or chicken salt if you are lucky) and
Party Pies and Sausage Rolls
Meat Pies are an Australian addiction. Pie shops become famous, bakeries sell them, corner stores sell them, small trucks drive them around to worksites each day delivering their stash of pies to the lucky ones who get in early and they are in every supermarket, school canteen and roadside truck stop. Meat pies are loved by Australians!
At a party however, it can be a little awkward to be eating your way through a meal sized beef and bacon pie while keeping up idle chit chat. To combat this problem, Australians launched the Party Pie and Party Sausage Roll to complete success all over the country. These tasty morsels are simply small “finger food” sized versions of your everyday pies and sausage rolls, so there was every chance of success from the outset.
You buy your Party Pies and Sausage Rolls in the frozen food section of the supermarket (not in the bakery where you would normally buy your fresh full sized pies). To cook, they are simply placed into the oven (not the microwave or else they will end up a soggy, inedible mess) and served with tomato sauce. Yum!
Cold Roast Chook – Even the words conjure up visions of Home & Away!
Australians refer to chickens as “chooks”, so if someone says “do you feel like some cold roast chook and salad “ (and someone will say that), then now you know what they’re talking about.
Cold Chook is the go to food for summer weekends, any meal that you may not feel like cooking (as the roast chooks are sold already roasted at supermarkets and you can always have one in the fridge), or to any outdoor event. Cold chicken and a bag of fresh bread rolls and you have the makings of a great casual picnic on a headland by any beach.
Quick, simple food that is easy to clean up, and maybe sneak a piece to the sea gulls who will be very forward in their demands a crumb or two.
There seems to be no food that Australians won’t put tomato sauce on. It is never compulsory so feel free to add it at will to anything you like, or refrain. You will never be short of tomato sauce in Australia.
Canned Beetroot! Australians have a love affair with the canned or tinned beetroot
You will find it on hamburgers, in salads and sitting in a dish on it’s own in any salad bar or table at any bbqq you attend. It is very dark purple, generally sliced and a bit slippery. Give it a try! However, it is not something all Australians like so feel free to pass on it if you prefer.
One thing is for certain, Canned Beetroot juice stains anything it comes in contact with. So be super careful with it as it has a habit of sliding out of the hamburgers, falling off forks and leaving Australians with more than a few “beetroot stains” do try and deal with. Be careful out there 🙂
Potato salad. Potato salad will be at any BBQ you find yourself at
It will always be cold. It will always be delicious. It is essentially make from boiled then cooled potatoes, mixed with a tangy mayonnaise sauce and a few other mix ins can be added, depending on the recipe.
There might be some bacon, celery, hard boiled egg, olives or capers occasionally. Potato salad is undoubtedly Australia’s favourite salad, well, it might be sometimes challenged by coleslaw (being shredded cabbage and carrot also in a tangy mayonnaise sauce).
Vegemite! Vegemite should not be mistaken for a sweet chocolate spread such as nutella
It is not sweet and it is not something you can eat by the spoonful. Vegemite is similar to marmite in the UK. It is a very thick yeast based spread and is Australia’s favourite bread spread.
Australians have vegemite mostly on bread or toast with butter. Their love for the spread has expanded to an entire range of flavoured products. In the supermarket you’ll find vegemite flavoured cheese slices and cheese sticks and even vegemite flavoured dips.
The secret to a positive introduction to vegemite is to use a very light spreading on your toast or sandwich to begin with, and then work your way up to more.
So ingrained is Vegemite in the Australian way of life it’s frequently namechecked in high brow Australian Popular Culture…
Pavlova is such an incredible dessert that it has left Australians and New Zealanders in an endless but friendly battle over it’s nation of origin. Regardless of the real origins, it is a heavenly mix of soft centered but crunchy outside meringue base, topped with fresh whipped cream and fruits such as passionfruit and strawberries.
If you like sweet things you will love this Australian food. It is sometimes shortened to “Pav” in conversations and casual menus.
This is a food you will see at children’s parties. It is a simple slice of plain bread, spread with butter and then sprinkled with “hundreds and thousands” ice cream sprinkles. Again a completely simple treat and one not seen elsewhere in the world.
Lamington is the national cake of Australia
The Lamington is a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut, with a cream and strawberry jam filling. You will find Lamingtons for sale at supermarkets, bakeries and school fetes everywhere.
Australian schools sometimes hold fundraising events called “Lamington Drives”, where boxes of lamingtons are pre sold by school children to everyone they know in their neighbourhood, through parents workplaces and beyond.
Once orders are in, Lamington Day arrives and the children go about delivering the orders to you. It is the tastiest school fundraising effort we know of and one to get behind in your local community once you have arrived in Australia. You wont be disappointed.
ANZAC biscuits are a traditional Australian cookie, originally developed during the war when not only some foods not available, but these biscuits were sent to the soldiers overseas and were made to last the journey. They are golden brown in colour and are sold year round in stores across Australia. They are usually in the fresh bakery section as they are not sold in pre-packaged form. Australians like their ANZAC biscuits fresh.
They are an easy biscuit to make and Australians cook these at home as well. They are a favourite for kids learning to bake and can be found in “chewy” and “crunchy” varieties depending on the length of time they are cooked.
Tim Tams – Australia’s greatest food export to the world !
The Tim Tam was created by Arnotts biscuits and is loved within Australia and is now sold in many countries around the world. The Tim Tam is a Chocolate coated, chocolate cream filled, chocolate biscuit. They are rectangular and the flavour range has now expanded to include vanilla, strawberry, caramel, mint and dark chocolate as well as white chocolate coated varieties. These biscuits are really worth a try.
Australians have developed many ways to eat their Tim Tams, on of the most famous is to use a Tim Tam as a straw for your hot coffee or hot chocolate, known as a Tim Tam Slam.
Simply bite off opposite corners of your biscuit, put one side into the coffee and suck through the other side. Within a few seconds you will be sucking your coffee, now slightly Tim Tam flavoured through the biscuit.
Australian Food – 100% delicious (even though we’re a bit biased)