Popular Australian Foods.

The following are terms which describe the Australian cuisine and other popular Australian foods which are inherited from the early pioneers and bushmen who moved from place to place carrying their swag and billy can.

Anzac Biscuits: Made from rolled oats, coconut, flour sugar, golden syrup, butter bicarbonate of soda and water. They were made and sent in tins to Australian soldiers at the battlefields during World War 1.

Meat Pies: Individual mince meat pies small enough to be held in you hands for eating. They are traditionally sold at sporting and other community events, usually smothered in tomato sauce.

Balmain Bugs: Usually shaped flat crustaceans found in Sydney harbour. They have a mild flavoured white flesh and are usually barbecued, grilled or boiled.  Also Moreton Bay Bugs found in Moreton Bay, Queensland.

Billy Tea: Tea made in a metal can, called a billy, over an open fire. The billy has a wire handle and a tight fitting lid. Water is brought to the boil, the lid removed and tea added. The billy is then removed from the fire and tea drunk from metal cups.

Cocky’s Joy: A tin of either golden syrup or treacle was one of the basics that swagmen used to carry with them. It had many uses like sweetening billy tea, spreading on damper or pouring over puddings.

Cuppa: A cup of tea.

Damper: A basic bread originally made simply with flour and water, kneaded, shaped into a round and cooked in the coals of a fire made on the ground. Raising flour is used to make damper now. Some campers make the dough and mould a small amount around a thick stick. The stick is then held over a fire. When the damper is cooked, golden syrup is poured in the hole left by the stick.

Fish: Australia’s coastline is a breeding ground for a large variety of fish. Snapper, garfish, leather jacket, Jewish, Flathead and gem fish are some of the most common types available.Dory and Barramundi, both mild-flavoured fish, are very popular land highly regarded.

Granny Smith Apples: Green-skinned variety with crisp juicy flesh. They were first grown in Sydney, New South Wales in the late nineteenth century. They are used extensively in cookery and are an excellent eating apple. Granny Smith are excellent for an apple pie.

Jumbuck: Young sheep.

Lamingtons: Pieces of light sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and coconut. It is believed Queenslanders named them after a popular early Governor of Queensland.

Rock Oysters: Popular edible mollusks found on Australian seashores. Eaten straight from the shell, although some people prefer them grilled or poached.

Pavlova: Basically a large meringue served with fruit and cream. Controversy still surrounds the country of origin. Australians claim it as their own and believe that it was invented by a chef in Western Australia when the great Russian dancer Pavlova was touring early this century. New Zealanders claim it had already been written into their cookery books ten years earlier. Whatever the case it is an Australian National disk.

Shellfish: Australians are quite partial to shellfish. In seafood restaurants, a platter consisting of a variety of shellfish and fish is highly prized.

Tucker: Colloquial term for food.

Tropical Fruits: When in season, fruits such as mangoes, pawpaws, and pineapples are sent from northern Australia to southern states and are enjoyed in various ways.

Vegemite: A vegetable extract used as a spread on toast or bread and as a flavouring in soups and casseroles. Australians who live overseas have a reputation for not being happy unless they have a supply of Vegemite.