So the concept of ‘Australian Cuisine’ may leave some lost for ideas. . .and rightly so. The truth is, there aren’t too many foods that can be deemed entirely Australian, and you need to keep in mind that Australia was settled by the British, so customs and cuisine mostly originate from there. The other thing is that Australia today is extremely multicultural; the variety of cuisines available is reflective of this. In fact, if you’re going to visit and you’re worried about what sorts of meal choices you’ll be faced with, don’t fret - it's not all witchetty grubs and kangaroo steaks.
Melbourne is particularly well-renowned for its wide variety of quality restaurants offering authentic foreign cuisine (particularly of the Asian influence). However, for those wanting to have a taste of some typically Australian fare, try the following:
If you haven’t grown up on the stuff, you may not like it, but Vegemite is an Aussie icon and oddly, an incredibly good hangover cure. Originally made from the yeast congealed at the bottom of beer barrels, Vegemite is a thick, black paste commonly used as a spread. Some even eat it straight out of the jar. However, newbies should opt to have Vegemite on toast made with a generous serving of margarine and a very light smear of Vegemite. It's extremely rich and salty, so you really don’t need much to get the maximum effect. For the health conscious, Vegemite is very high in vitamins and minerals and equates to nothing in the calorie department.Vegemite — Photo courtesy of Gordon Wrigley
The lamington is a traditional Australian dessert, typically a square or rectangular cake (individually portioned, not one large item) made of vanilla sponge cake, dipped in a kind of chocolate icing and covered in desiccated coconut. Some types can be cream or jam-filled for additional flavor and moistness. It's quite scrumptious and great as an afternoon treat.Lamington — Photo courtesy of jamieanne
Try this in burger form. If possible, opt for a burger (made using kangaroo mince) with 'the lot.' For those of you unfamiliar with this term, 'the lot' generally includes cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, fried egg, bacon, pineapple and beetroot and a generous squeeze of tomato sauce. The burger tends to be enormous, hard to hold and even harder to eat (there is no way to consume this gracefully), but it's absolutely delicious.
Anzacs (standing for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) trace back to WW1, when wives used to send these cookies to their soldier husbands fighting overseas, as the ingredients tend not to spoil too quickly. The cookies are made up of rolled oats, flour, golden syrup, butter, sugar and desiccated coconut and are sweet, chewy deliciousness. Still a definite Aussie favorite!Anzacs — Photo courtesy of NZatFrankfurt
Iconic Australian ‘Bush Tucker,’ damper is a type of bread made without yeast; it's just flour, water and sometimes a splash of milk or baking soda. It can be likened to a scone in texture, but traditionally isn’t very flavorsome. Damper-making is linked to camping and the bush, originally made by stockmen and indigenous Australians in the Aussie outback and cooked over hot coals, sometimes on a stick.