Although the TV ads would have you believe that “Fosters is Australian for beer,” the sound-bites about Vegemite and kangaroo-meat are truly only a small slice of the culinary wonders awaiting you on the continent “Down Under.” Foodies from the world over hail Australian cuisine (or Mod-Oz cuisine, as it’s affectionately called) as a wealth of diverse culinary experiences to be enjoyed all the more when accompanied by a glass of award-winning Australian wine. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t miss it!
1. Comfort Food at its Best:
The Australian dining experience is actually a delightful blend of the “comfort foods” of British cuisine (such as the fish and chips, meat pies, and ales enjoyed in pubs the world over) and foods that might take you a little out of your original comfort zone. British colonization certainly left its mark on the continent’s menus, but aboriginal “bush tucker” (native foods) and additional international influences will widen your own definition of Comfort Food once you begin sampling.
2. Australian Cuisine is a Multicultural Affair:
Drawing from the many populations and cultures of the continent’s history, Australian food can truly be described as multicultural cuisine. The country’s unique history has included influxes of populations from a wide variety of different areas, each of them importing their comestible specialties and adding their own original twists as they blended with the existing culinary culture. Where else but in Australia could you find Italian cuisine, Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Thai cuisine, and Indian cuisine cheek-by-jowl in the marketplace, each of them catering to diners of all different backgrounds? Culinary tourists can experience a taste of almost any culture here, and even the kosher or halal diner will find an array of options.
3. Australian Cuisine is fresh from the Earth
Surrounded by the sea, Australia makes the most of the edible opportunities available from the ocean. Seafood abounds in Australian cuisine, accompanied by fresh produce and famous Australian wines. In addition to the abundance of seafood and the internationally envied wines, Australia boasts growing-areas for fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables–some familiar, some probably new to you. From the Aboriginal “bush foods” to the meat-and-vegetables traditions brought by the British, Australian dining embraces the food sources available locally.
4. Australian Wines are Among the World’s Best
With more than sixty Australian wine regions, including the famous Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, and Barrossa Valley, this country has recently taken the international wine scene by storm. With growing numbers of international awards to their credit, Australian wine makers can tempt any palate, and provide the perfect complement to any Australian meal. Any foodie can happily raise a glass (of famous Australian Shiraz, Chardonnay, or Merlot) to that!
5. Australian Eating is an Adventure in Creative Cuisine:
Australian chefs have taken cooking to new heights with the creative opportunities offered by a continent of so many mixed culinary influences. They have been blending elements of older traditions and creating new foods, tastes, and textures that are distinctly and incontrovertibly Australian. This is Modern Australian Foodat its best-drawing from a wide array of sources, blending flavors that used to be separated by cultural boundaries, and giving the world an entirely new cuisine. It’s complex, it’s sophisticated, and it’s like nothing you’ll experience elsewhere.
With its wide variety of cultural influences, its abundance of natural culinary resources, and the creativity and humor of its innovative chefs, Australia is truly a foodie’s dream come true. And yes, you can try a vegemite sandwich or a kangaroo barbecue with a bottle of Foster’s–but that’s only a small taste of what’s in store for you.