Here’s 10 unique and delicious ingredients worth travelling the vast country of Australia down under for.
For dedicated foodies, traveling across the world to experience the unique dishes and cuisines of countries is not uncommon. And while you may be able to replicate many of these in the comfort of your home, there is nothing better than experiencing these delicious ingredients in their country of origin. Australia is a vast place, home to many unusual and delightful ingredients and dishes that will have you securing your nicotine prescription and booking your ticket in no time—a true food lover’s heaven.
Image courtesy of Duane Mendes
Nothing is more quintessential in Australia than the humble vegemite. It has an acquired taste, meaning you will either love it or hate it; there is no in-between. Many Australians were raised on it, making it a household staple for most.
It is a dark brown paste with a strong yeasty, salty flavor. It is made from brewer’s yeast, onion extract, malt, and celery, available in nearly every supermarket you visit. It is best enjoyed slathered over a warm toast or a slice of fresh white bread. And with a high salt content and plenty of vitamin B, it is the perfect hangover cure.
Anzac biscuits are made annually as a commemorative biscuit that pays respect to the Australian and New Zealand army corps. They are eaten on ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day as a tribute to those who have served throughout history and continue to serve today.
The biscuit is a very sweet mixture of rolled oats, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, flour, and baking soda. While they have their place during the calendar year, you can find these delicious treats year around in most bakeries.
A traditional meat pie is beloved by Australians nationwide. This simple savory pie is typically the size of your hand and is the perfect takeaway snack to eat on the go. The ultimate meat pie consists of minced meat, gravy, and a few added extras, including mushrooms, onions, melted cheese, and spices.
Aussies take the title of the ‘best meat pie’ very seriously, so don’t be surprised to come across dedicated specialty shops dotted around the country on your travels.
Aussie bush tucker is a term used to refer to native indigenous food. And there are few things more uniquely bush tucker than witchetty grub. It doesn’t look appetizing but has a surprisingly delicious taste. In addition, the white moth larvae have extensive health benefits, helping to propel its popularity with skeptics. They are rich in protein, fat, and energy, with high levels of vitamin B1, magnesium, and zinc.
It can be eaten raw or cooked. But for someone just starting out, they are best cooked over hot coals for a subtle smokey flavor.
Image courtesy of Mike Kilcoyne
Alongside koalas, the kangaroo is the national animal of Australia and a top-rated food source. You can find these kangaroos across the country, and due to excessive numbers, they are considered a pest in many regions. Indigenous people have been eating kangaroo for centuries, but it was only made legal for human consumption in the 20th century.
Like many other traditional Australian types of meat, it is a lean meat that is very high in protein and low in fat. It has a richer flavor than beef or lamb and is sourced from wild kangaroos.
Australia is known for its extensive love of all things seafood, and considering the sheer size of its coastline, it is no wonder they have perfected this cuisine. While traditional seafood like prawns, calamari, and standard fish and chips are in heavy demand, for a taste of Aussie popularity, look no further than the Barramundi.
It is a white fish with a divine buttery flavor and can be found in nearly every seafood restaurant in the country. For those who enjoy a bit of fishing, locations around western Australia, Queensland, and the northern territory offer prime barramundi fishing spots. Throw over a Saturday afternoon barbecue for the ultimate seafood feast.
Emu meat has been a diet staple for the indigenous people of Australia for centuries. This giant, flightless bird is native to the country and a relative to the ostrich. The meat is lean, with minimal fat and a high iron level, ideal for human consumption.
Despite the boom in popularity during the 90s, Australia is only one of a few countries with an emu industry. It tastes a lot like beef and is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties. So if you want to try something uniquely Australian that isn’t too exotic, emu is perfect for you.
While the Aussies love their barbecues, this is not something you find on your typical BBQ menu. Instead, you will need to venture into the more northern states to experience crocodile farms. It is a unique and unusual dish, and for those wanting to get the full Australian foodie experience, one worth trying.
The meat is very high in protein and often compared to chicken in taste and texture. Because it is farmed on a fairly small scale, it is considered a delicacy, as crocodiles were listed as a protected species in 1971. Before purchasing the product, ensure you are buying from an ethically sourced seller, as the crocodile industry has been plagued with unethical practices over the years.
Image courtesy of Joey Csunyo
While the original creator is unknown, lamingtons have been a staple in all Australian cookbooks and kitchens since 1900, after the recipe was first published in a magazine. They were named in honor of Lord Lamington and his wife, who served as governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.
They are a delicious bite-sized sweet treat designed to be enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a swivel of chocolate sauce should the mood take you. The dessert consisted of a square of butter or sponge cake, which is lightly coated in a layer of jam, followed by a layer of chocolate icing, and finally sprinkled with desiccated chocolate.