Cuisine of Australia and Oceania


Cuisine of Australia and Oceania


The cuisine of Australia and Oceania is one of the most "colourful" and exotic in the world. Its development was influenced by immigrants from all over the world. Based on English traditions, it has absorbed many culinary preferences of Asian cuisine, combining the traditions of the East and West with the peculiarities of national cookery, and the result is one of the best and most diverse cuisines in the world.

Exotic for us and traditional for Australians - roast kangaroo meat in a raspberry glaze


The main role in the local cuisine is given to meat products, and it does not matter whether it is traditional beef, pork and lamb, or meat of kangaroo, crocodile, ostrich emu, possum. Mainlanders and islanders eat a lot of fish and seafood, which is usually roasted over charcoal with a thick layer of grass. A traditional Aboriginal food, bush tucker (bushfood), is also cooked over charcoal. By bush tucker is meant any local (characteristic for Australia and the islands of Oceania) food of plant and animal origin, which has long been consumed by local people. For example, this includes meat from kangaroo, emu ostrich, crocodile; muntries known as "Australian cranberries", "Australian dessert peach" quandong or the local speciality of "whitchetty" grubs and beetles.

The exotic sweet quandong fruit is about 4cm in diameter and is native to southern Australia


Each of Australia's regions has its own specialities - oysters in Sydney, salmon in Tasmania and scallops in the Coffin Bay National Park area of South Australia. The presence in Australia and Oceania of many species of exotic animals not found anywhere else in the world has made this cuisine truly revolutionary. Only here you can try such unique dishes as shark lips, blue crabs, freshwater oysters and, of course, traditional kangaroo steaks.

Australia's seafood-rich cuisine


It should be noted, however, that Australian cuisine has not always been so generous and varied. Even before the middle of the last century, and even until the 60-70s, the priority on the continent was English cuisine, which is not distinguished by a special variety. Even in the eighties of the twentieth century, it was a rarity for Australia to find a family dining with spaghetti bolognaise on their plates. Then, as immigrants from Greece and Italy flooded into Australia, traditions began to change. Within 10 to 20 years, dishes such as spaghetti, lasagne, pizza and other such dishes have become a regular feature on the tables of Australians. And with the emergence of the inhabitants of South-East Asian countries, radical changes, akin to a revolution, took place in the established culinary traditions. Now Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes became fashionable. Today, when you pick up a menu from an Australian restaurant, you can see dishes from any country, although Asian food prevails.

Breadfruit ready to eat, a dish especially popular on the islands of Papua New Guinea

And this is what the breadfruit itself looks like


Barracuda fish, barramandi fish, and herb-baked trout are considered Australia's national specialities. Both meat and fish are usually served with "chutney" - a sauce made of apples with cloves, ginger and vinegar. Also among the "special" dishes of Oceania are tubers of táro, a vegetable weighing up to 2kg and covered with a black skin. They must be thoroughly boiled or fried so as not to irritate the mucous membranes. Another national dish of Australia is vegemite, a thick, dark brown paste based on yeast extract. Vegemite is mainly used as a spread to spread on bread, sandwiches and crackers, and to fill typical Australian Cheesymite scrolls.

Táro tubers

Wedgemite and toast with it


The favourite drink of the people of Australia and Oceania is tea, which they drink very readily and in large quantities. Tea traditions are given almost as much importance here as in England. No less popular are various soft drinks - fruit juices to which mint leaves, lemon, ginger are added.

Australian tea


All Australians are big fans of ice-cream, from which they make delicious milkshakes. From the English locals inherited the tradition of sitting in a pub - there are as many of them here as in their homeland, England, and Australians are very fond of beer, of which there are at least a hundred kinds. Many regions produce local beers, the quality of which is as good as the most famous brands.

Who would refuse Australian beer Victoria Bitter?

However, compared to Europeans, Australia and Oceania drink much less alcoholic beverages. Wines from Australia are known all over the world, and this is quite understandable - even the cheapest local wine is as good as, and often even better than, its European competitors in terms of flavour. In general, the wine industry in recent years has become the most actively developing industry, which plays an important role in the Australian economy, and local wines have become an important part of the country's exports.

Famous Australian wines Jacob's Creek


Australia and Oceania is a paradise for those who love fruit. Apart from tropical mangoes, papayas, pineapples, citrus fruits, bananas, there are a lot of unusual exotic fruits, which can't be found anywhere else in the world, for example, dessert peach kuandong or cockatoo plum. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Australia and Oceania prefer to use the traditional European dessert fruits for completely different purposes - they serve them with meat, make marinades and sauces from them, bake them on coals and use them as garnishes for fish and seafood.

Kakadu plum is another product of bushfood aborigines


And as desserts they prefer homemade ice cream and various pastries - cakes with whipped cream, sponge cakes, biscuits and delicious cakes. Traditional Australian desserts are known in many parts of the world - these are Arnotta biscuits, which have become practically a business card of the green continent and are exported to forty countries of the world, and the famous Pavlova bezé cake, and chocolate sponge sprinkled with coconut crumbs Lamington.

Two Lamingtons joined by cream


Culinary festivals are regularly held in various cities of Australia and Oceania, where residents and guests of the green continent become tasters of various wines and national dishes, as well as take a direct part in the birth of culinary masterpieces. For example, in late December - early January, Tasmania hosts one of the most popular festivals - the Summer Culinary Festival, among the many attractions of which are especially favourite tastings of dishes, both local and foreign cuisine, prepared according to local recipes, as well as wines and other drinks. Australia's major cities hold Food and Wine Festivals in the spring, bringing together renowned chefs from around the world to prepare their specialities. In Queensland, a favourite attraction is the Beer Belly Festival. Fans of this frothy beverage enjoy travelling from all corners of the country to sample different local beers and compete in a contest for the biggest beer belly.

Crocodile steak with garnish