Tuesday was Australia Day, which meant that I got to learn about what this country is all about!
While most Australians spend the day with family and friends at festivities, I was in class most. However, in International Marketing, our professor brought in a few classic Australian food items for everyone to sample. Here are a few of the top iconic Australian foods with a little history behind their fame:
A dark brown paste made with leftover brewers’ yeast extract combined with vegetable and spice additives. It was created in 1922 by the Fred Walker Company, which later became Kraft Food Company. It was an attempt to make a spread out of brewer’s yeast, one of the richest known natural sources in the Vitamin B group. Originally labeled “Pure Vegetable Extract,” Vegemite took to the Australian market shelves, and has never left. Currently Kraft is working on marketing the product in the US, but due to it’s unique and extremely salty taste, it has yet to become popular in the states. However, the product has become so famous that it actually is sold in the majority of countries across the world, even in specialty shops in the US. In my opinion, it’s way too salty, but tastes much better on bread than crackers.
A dessert made of sponge cake coated in a layer of chocolate sauce and coconut. It comes in a few different forms, such as squares, rectangles, or rolls, and sometimes also is made with a layer of fruit jelly. It can be found in South Africa (under the name hedgehogs) and New Zealand. It actually was created by a maid-servant of Lord Lamington (British eight Governor of Queensland) when she accidentally put it together at work.
Pretty straight forward, milk chocolate koalas filled with caramel. Relating back to America, they taste pretty much like Rolo’s. This snack was created by Cadbury, and has remained popular for over three generations.
A flavoured snack, pretty much like cheese curls. They are made made Smith’s Snackfood Company, and have been on the shelves for over 50 years here. While Cheese and Chicken are the iconic flavours, they add to the line from time to time.
Two cookie wafer with cream in the middle, coated in chocolate. There are classic types, including original, dark, white, caramel, and double coat, as well as many specialty Tim Tam products. This product also exists in the States, however is not nearly as popular as in Australia. Fun fact, based on a market research study, they found that Americans would not purchase the product because there were not enough in one package.
After a long day of classes, my friends and I went to Broadbeach for the evening. We enjoyed dinner at a nice Sushi restaurant called Oh Sushi. While an average sushi fan at home, here sushi is good, cheap, and very common, so I think I will find myself enjoying it quite often while abroad. Afterwards we went to a bar called Melbas in Surfer’s Paradise, and had a relaxing evening with friends listening to live music.
Evening at Melbas
In addition to a few iconic Australian foods, over my first two weeks here, I have picked up on quite a few terms that are different than the word that would be used at home. Should you find yourself in Australia, expect to hear these terms typically in place of the American equivalent. I’m sure there will be updates to come, but here are a few that have come up so far:
- mate – friend (is used fairly frequently)
- parcel – package
- hire – rent
- playsuit – jumper/romper
- cupboard – cabinet
- prawn – shrimp (Essentially, however techinically prawns have class on three of their five pairs of legs, while shrimp have claws on just two. Their gills and body shapes are different, but for cooking purposes they are basically the same. Generally speaking prawn is used in place of shrimp, as you would see on menus.)
- country – Australian outback (central land)
- (vs) out back –back behind something else
- Uni – University (students attend “College” in the US but “University” in Australia)
- bloke – man
- que – line
- query – question
- collect – pick up
- joggers – sneakers
- thongs – flip flops
- bogan – hippy or country person
- rocket – arugula (sounds so very similar)
- jug – pitcher
- sick as – awesome, nice (phrase to compliment something or indicate you like it)
- no worries – okay, you’re welcome, filler (phrase often used as a general response)
- biscuit – cookie