Australia and Oceania
Australian cuisine has taken on many international flavors and styles from places like the United Kingdom, Asia, the Mediterranean and other regions. The result is a cuisine that is distinctly Australian, but with subtle reminders of the influences of other global cuisines. Australia is proud of their wine and beer production, and they have achieved global recognition. Beer in Australia is strong and has an alcohol content of about 5 percent. Coopers, James Squire and of course Fosters, are all well known brands. Darwin is home to the largest beer bottle available for purchase. At 1.25 liters, this behemoth is called the Darwin Stubby. Wines are mostly produced in the Barrossa Valley, Hunter Valley or Yarra Valley and each has varietal specialties. Take-away is common in Australia and the British influence is predominant in fish and chips, sausage rolls and other common take-away items. Australia is renowned for its meat pies which are often served with ketchup or on a bed of mushy peas. Vegemite is uniquely Australian, but so are chicko rolls and ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC biscuits and Pavlova are arguably the country’s national foods. Kangaroo meat is widely available and is priced comparably to beef, but equally iconic to Australia are the Sydney Rock Oysters, which can be enjoyed in Doyle’s in Watson Bay. Brisbane is famous for their Moreton Bay Bugs. These crustaceans are a kind of slipper lobster, and mud crabs and freshwater crayfish (yabbies) are also regarded as regional specialties. Bush tucker is a term you might hear, and it relates to food consumed by native Australians. It can refer to any kind of food that might be consumed, such as witchetty grubs and bogong moths. Damper is the name for native bread cooked in coals. Billy tea any tea made in a billy can, the beverage of choice while exploring the outback. These native foods are slowly gaining in popularity in modern Australian cuisine. Australia has mastered the art of fusion cuisine, combining global flavors into dishes that have become uniquely Australian. There is more than just vegemite and shrimp to this regional cuisine, but all of it is undeniably delicious.