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Jan 11, 2014 07:30 PM

What is Australian cuisine?

Is there one, or a handful of, identifying or representative dish(es)?

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  1. Morton bay bugs, barramundi, beer, girls, lamb. Any order.

    7 Replies
      1. re: jrvedivici

        A sleezy way to duck child support. "Sandra, meet Donnie Dingo."

      2. re: Veggo

        You forgot yabbies and left out two more mentions of beer

          1. re: porker

            Recall that in New South Wales, drafts are served by the pint, and in Far North Queensland, they are served by the "pot".

        1. As with any national cuisine, particularly for those countries which are relatively new, Australia relies on its immigrant communities for it dishes. For example, fish & chips and meat pies are as iconic Australian foods as they are British foods.

          And, as with any national cuisine, it's affected by what products are raised locally. With much of the country's population living in the coastal areas, it's hardly surprising that seafood is very popular. And vast amounts of land are given over to raising sheep and cattle.

          Modern Australian restaurant cuisine often looks to the Pacific Rim countries for inspiration, adapting dishes to local produce, etc. But, for traditional Australian food, you'd generally look towards the British Isles, although dishes will, of course, be adapted to local circumstances and tastes.

          1. vanilla slice, custard tart, lamingtons, pavlova, anzac biscuits, meat pies, ummm... lots of barbecuing (grilling, NOT American 'bbq'.) 'Traditional' Australian cooking was British all the way, but in my lifetime it's become a real global melting pot. The main cuisines that you WON'T find in Australia are Mexican and Caribbean, and there's not a lot of African influence because most of the immigrants came from Europe or more recently south-east Asia.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Kajikit

              Vanilla slice & custard tart both must have British connections, as they're both popular cakes here.

              1. re: Kajikit

                Its been a few years since my last visit, but most of the backyard grills I saw in Sydney/Brisbane/Gold Coast wouldn't even rate as a "grill". They basically cooked on a metal sheet heated by propane flame. I teased that they were cookng on the hood of a Buick...
                and "shrimp on the barbie" was despised as American nonsense. They were cookng lamb sausage.

                1. re: porker

                  "I teased that they were cookng on the hood of a Holden..."

                  Fixed it for ya :-)

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    Good catch. The Australian import duties on foreign cars are goofy high.