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All Things Uniquely Australian - Food


Damper is an iconic Australian dish. Traditionally, it is a simple Australian unleavened bread baked in the hot coals of a campfire. The dough is normally put into an iron pot and buried in hot coals. The bread is called damper because the fire is damped to allow the bread to be cooked over the ash covered hot coals.

Damper has been a staple food in the bush because the dry ingredients could be easily carried and only water was needed. Damper was originally developed by stockmen who travelled in remote areas for weeks or months at a time, with only basic rations of flour, sugar and tea.


Lamingtons are a sponge cake in the shape of a cube, coated in a layer of traditionally chocolate icing then desiccatedcoconut.  Lamingtons are named after Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. The Lamington's chef at Queensland's Government House, Armand Gallad, was called upon at short notice to provide something to feed unexpected guests. In September 2006, the National Trust of Queensland named the Lamington one of Queensland's favourite icons.

ANZAC Biscuits
Always an Aussie favourite, ANZAC biscuits (cookies) are easy to make and made throughout the year. The biscuit originated around 1915 during World War I when wives would bake the biscuits and send them to Australian troops overseas. At first the biscuits were called the Soldiers' Biscuits. However, after the famous landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed for the brave fighting men, the ANZACS (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). The ANZAC biscuit is made using rolled oats, flour, coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water.  

Meat Pies
The meat pie is as Australian as it gets. Australia is the world's biggest consumer of meat pies with over 250 million eaten annually. The traditional Aussie meat pie is about 15cm in diameter, just large enough to hold in one hand and covered in tomato sauce (ketchup). The pastry is a shortcrust (heavy enough so it doesn't fall apart in your hands), and the filling is beef or chicken with enough thick gravy inside to stick it all together.

The Australian rissole is usually made from minced (ground) meat without a pastry covering, but sometimes with breadcrumbs. Americans see them as meatballs.

The Big Brekky

Australians love a big breakfast, or brekky. This usually includes fried eggs, sausage, grilled mushrooms and onion, bacon, tomato, hash brown potato and toast.

Hamburger with the Lot

Minced (ground) Meat Patty
Fried egg
Bacon (ham)
Salad: Lettuce, carrot, onion
Margarine and Tomato Sauce (ketchup)

Use or taste it in SMALL doses. Australians don’t tell the foreigners this. Americans look at it like dark peanut butter, but don’t take a finger full! If it’s on a sandwich or biscuit, it is usually spread very thinly. Vegemite, yeast extract, is actually not that bad when it’s put on a piece of cheese, in my opinion. It goes well with sweet and savoury things.
Official Vegemite website:

Australians eat a lot of lamb! Its huge here, a major export, and is even being more actively marketed around the world. Read more at the Sheepmeat Council of Australia:

Sam Kekovick is our official Lambassador:

Eating Kangaroo
Kangaroo meat is high in protein and only 2 percent fat. It was only in 1993 that it was legislated for human consumption in all Australian states and territories. I think it is quite tasty. It is a meat that has a stronger flavour, but it’s a very inexpensive cut of meat and very healthy. Most Australians cannot fathom the thought of eating kangaroo as it is their national emblem. It’s worth a try anyway!

In Australia, we do not carve pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns like Americans. We eat them! Quite a bit!

Queensland blue pumpkins are large, with ribbed green-grey skin. Their flesh is orange and relatively dry in texture, with a full flavour, and available all year round. My favourite!

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