Even though I am Italian, I have been living in Australia for the past 6 years. I love this country so much that I have formally become Australian a couple of years ago and I consider myself Australian as much as Italian.
Australia is a wonderful country where people from different cultural backgrounds live together. This has resulted in a very multicultural society, which is foodie paradise! You can literally buy an original Turkish kebab and then, on the same street, have a slice of Italian pizza or some Malaysian laksa. Australians are very adventurous when it comes to trying new food. This and the fact that there are still many first generation migrants, make it the perfect place to be to try original specialties from around the world! The migrants’ food has not been altered or adjusted to local tastes as much as in other parts of the world, where migration has an older history.
All that said, many of my Italian friends ask me what traditional “Australian food” is like and I have a little difficulty coming up with an immediate answer! Being exposed to all these international cuisines can blind you, but this does not mean Australians don’t have their own cuisine!
So, when I got Foodbuzz’s email for this month’s 24X24, I thought it would be nice to hold a 24X24 event to show my readers some of the traditional and delicious Australian dishes and I came up with this “Come have some Aussie tucker, mate!” party. I prepared this meal for my family and the event was held at our house on Saturday 28th of April. This was the third time I hosted a 24X24 event: I had so much fun organising the Christmas in July and the Sicilian Street Food Party events, that I was really excited when I got Foodbuzz’s acceptance email!
I decorated the table with an Australian theme. I used some small koalas as signposts and put flags as the centrepiece. I also got some coasters with Aboriginal designs and I found some serviettes with the Australian flag on them.
I have to say that I was particularly happy to be hosting this event in April, as it is the month in which Australians celebrate ANZAC Day and it is the time of the year that my husband and I celebrate our move to Sydney… I can’t believe it’s been 6 years (and 2 kids!) already!
We also put some Australian music in the background. My favourite songs are “I am Australian”, “Waltzing Matilda”, “I still call Australia Home”, “Land down under”, and then the sound of an Aboriginal instrument called “Didgeridoo”.
The girls had a blast and particularly enjoyed dessert! Fairy bread is always a big hit with kids!!!
I also found some pictures from our holidays around this beautiful country, so I thought of sharing them with you.
Clint and I went to Uluru and the Kata Tjuta N.P. when we moved to Sydney. We needed a break as moving was a bit of an emotional roller coaster and we chose to visit the Outback. What better way to start our life in this country than by paying homage to one of its symbols? We loved it… the desert is so beautiful. I have never seen a more beautiful starry night… no lights, no pollution… just the stars above! During the same trip, we also visited Kings Canyon. The rim walk is incredibly beautiful.
We also visited the Blue Mountains, not far from Sydney. I love the area!!!
In 2007, we visited Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Victoria was only 5 months old and it was our first “family holiday”… something we will never forget. The island is very pretty and if you love nature and animals, you cannot miss it!
In 2009 we visited the Great Barrier Reef and we chose to stay on an island. Victoria was 2 and Georgia was in mummy’s womb. We stayed on Green Island, right off the coast of Cairns and we loved every single minute of it. Great snorkelling and lots of “Nemo’s”!
Always in 2009, we visited Canberra, the capital of Australia. This is the Federal Parliament:
And who does not love Aussie animals?? I still remember the first time I saw and touched a koala… I almost could not believe it! 🙂 Aren’t they cute??
Australia is such a beautiful country! I wish everyone could come here and visit it at least once in their lifetime!
But let’s get back to food!! I tried to make some of the most famous and iconic Australian food that could be somewhat representative of this country’s cuisine and I am going to show all of you how to replicate it in your own home!
The menu I submitted to Foodbuzz’s 24X24 was divided into Starters, Mains, Sides, Dessert, Tea (with sweets) and Drinks sections. Here is the detailed menu of what I prepared:
- Mini Meat Pies served with tomato sauce (little shortcrust pies filled with beef and covered with puff pastry)
- Mini Aussie style Sausage Rolls with tomato sauce (little sausage rolls made with a mix of beef mince, pork sausage and herbs)
- Mini Vegemite and Cheese Sandwiches (little sandwiches filled with butter, vegemite and cheese)
- Aussie Burger with “the lot” (a beef patty served in a home-made toasted bread roll with tomato sauce, lettuce, sliced tomato, beetroot, cheese, bacon, fried onions, pineapple slices and a fried egg!).
- Seared Kangaroo Fillet Steak with Raspberry Glaze
- Roast Tomato, Rocket & Macadamia salad
- Chips (fries) – without recipe
- Damper (a traditional soda bread of the Australian Outback)
- Fruit Pav (aka pavlova: a meringue-based cake with a crisp crust and soft marshmallowy inside, decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruits)
TEA SERVED WITH
- Lamingtons (cubes of sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and coated with desiccated coconut)
- Fairy bread (sliced white bread cut into triangles, spread with butter and covered with hundreds-and-thousands)
- Aussie beer (we chose one from Tasmania)
- Aussie red wine (we had a Merlot from the Hunter Valley – NSW)
The majority of the dishes are completely handmade (from the burger patties and buns, to the pavlova base, to the sponge cake for the Lamingtons…).
As I have quite a few recipes to post and I want to write about them the way I always do (with detailed instructions and step by step pictures), I will post the new recipes over the next couple of weeks (there are many!)… So please stay tuned! As for the recipe of the Aussie style Sausage Rolls, you can already see it by clicking on the link.
Here is a preview of the “menu” (hoover over each image with the mouse for the name of the dish and, where already available, a link to the recipe):
So, stay tuned and if you liked my “Come have some Aussie tucker, Mate!” event, please head over to this month’s Foodbuzz 24×24 and send some buzz my way! THANKS! <3