I thought I’d put together a blog post on ‘Aussie’ foods, or food experiencess, I’ve had in my life. It’s a bit tricky because most is non vegan and I only like to feature vegan foods. I do have a lot of vegetarian readers so for this post I’ll show images of vegetarian stuff (mostly sweets!).
I also thought I’d mention some of the words we say for various food items, that have other names in (mostly) North America.
In Australia, we say biscuit for cookie. Even though we use the word cookie, it’s seen as more of an American word. If my children ask for an Oreo, they either say Oreo or biscuit (photo from Wikipedia). Oh, and we say fairy floss, not cotton candy:
We say scones, elsewhere say biscuits. Scones are made from self raising flour, butter, milk and salt then baked in the oven (photo from misterniceguy.com.au):
Scones! (cooked in the oven)
Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here. In Australia we say plain flour for ‘all purpose flour’. We say self raising flour, I think, for ‘cake flour’. Basically it’s plain flour with raising thingies added, so you don’t have to add in baking powder to a recipe. For corn flour, we mean corn starch– often added as a thickener to a sauce for instance (photo from White Wings website. When you’ve got a White Wings mum, you’ve got it maaaaade):
Self Raising flour! Used for baked goods that need to rise, like cake
Here we say jam, in North America you guys say jelly. Growing up, I never understood why American kids would eat peanut butter with jelly (photo from the IXL site):
Jam on Scones!
An Australian sweet treat is a lamington. It’s a sponge cake cut in to a cube and covered in chocolate icing then rolled in dried coconut. Some are plain inside but others have cream or jam, or both (photos from Wikipedia and http://www.coles.com.au respectively):
Cream filled lamington
Jam filled lamington
Arnott’s Assorted Creams were the cause of many a battle between siblings when I was growing up. In the pic below (taken from http://www.calorieking.com.au) starting from top left going clockwise, we have Delta Cream, Orange Slice, Monte Marlo (this had to be separated before you ate it, or you would be thrown in jail), Kingston (my favourite, fortunately there’s a good vegan alternative!) and Shortbread Cream. Or as Arthur used to say, and we never corrected him, Shortbread Crimes:
Arnott’s also had the non-cream variety packs:
Okay, I think that’s enough of the biscuits.
Pies (unfortunately the very non-vegan variety, aka gristle ‘n’ gravy) are considered an Aussie staple by some. They’re sold at sporting matches and are pretty much everywhere. The more well known brands are your typical high fat high salt massively processed parcels of grossness. There are loads of variations and yay we also have some great vegan options (photo from Where’s the Beef). Now, I grew up thinking Americans only ever ate hot dogs at baseball games. The Australian equivalent is pies being eaten at our footy (Australian Rules Football) games:
Sausage rolls are very common here. We had these for dinner tonight using the recipe I borrowed from Where’s the Beef. I add in finely food-processor-chopped raw cauliflower and omit the breadcrumbs:
When I was in primary school (about 1980) a popular frozen treat was a Sunny Boy. Another flavour was called Razz and was more raspberry flavoured. Collectively, they were referred to as ‘frozens’. Because… they were frozen. Basically it was a frozen pyramid of sugar and nasty colours and additives. Now, if you were lucky, sometimes the inside of your packet would have a special stamp called a Lucky, which entitled you to get another frozen for free. It was quite an experience finding a Lucky. I think they’re still around and I would hope they’re not as nasty as they used to be. I couldn’t find a picture of the 1980s packaging:
A ‘Frozen’ cost 5 cents when I was in primary (elementary) school.
I’ll leave you with some incredibly dorky old TV commercials. Wow, I almost can’t believe TV ads were so cringey. Believe me, there are many more examples…
(highly effective, people still tell their kids to Slip Slop Slap)
(highly effective… because people still quote this kid.)
I think our tv ads these days are only sliiiightly better. But none beat this:
If I had to name one favourite thing about Melbourne, it’s our multiculturalism. When people have asked me a question like “what’s a typical Australian dish”, I don’t really have an answer because there’s just so much on offer! I’m reminded of an article I once read quoting a survey saying the number one favourite English food was curry. Thinking of the meals my mum made growing up, there were lots of Greek dishes of course but nothing fancy like moussaka, more just simply every day dinner foods. These days, my mother will cook curries, Asian stir fries, Italian, you name it. I absolutely love that I can find whatever cuisine I like (I assume! I still have to track down a place that makes food from Panama!)
I’ll leave you with this video of a favourite song of mine growing up. Thanks to Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe for reminding me!