Think of Australian cuisine and the chances are you will probably find your mind wandering to sausages sizzling on a barbecue. But for tastes of the ‘real’ Australia why not try one of these somewhat more obscure dishes when you make the country your new home (warning, a strong stomach may be needed).
Not many countries choose to eat animals which are included on their coat of arms; well Australia does (emu is also a popular food in the country). Although kangaroo steaks and burgers are fairly common (you can even get them in the UK), some Aussies swear that the tail is actually the best part of a roo! It is estimated that kangaroos have been eaten down under for more than 40,000 years.
Shark and chips
Fish and chips may be seen as a traditionally British dish but it’s popular in Australia too. However, whereas cod or, in recent years, haddock may be the fish of choice in the UK, in Oz they prefer their chips with flake –which is actually shark!
Moreton Bay Bugs
Yes, as the name suggests, this is indeed meat taken from bugs; from the tails of certain sea-dwelling bugs to be more precise. Moreton Bay Bug is the general name for members of the Thenus species; specifically the Sandbug and Mudbug. The meat has a medium-to-strong flavour and is best prepared by poaching, steaming, barbecuing or grilling.
If trying Moreton Bay Bugs gives you an appetite for eating creepy crawlies, you may want to consider trying witchetty grubs – a popular bush food Down Under. The grub is the larva of a moth and can be eaten raw or cooked lightly over ashes. It is one of the most important insect foods of the Oz desert and has historically been a staple in the diets of Aboriginal Australians. Grubs are said to taste a bit like scrambled eggs, but I’ll leave you to find the truth of that statement for yourself.
Inspired by Chinese spring rolls, the Australian chiko roll is a deep-fried snack consisting of beef, celery, cabbage, barley, carrot, onion, green beans and spices, all rolled in a battered tube. It is one of Australia’s top fast-food snacks.