A melting pot of cultures, Australia boasts a cuisine is heavily influenced by the many nations across the world that have migrated and settled on its shores. Here you’ll find dishes paying homage to the country’s British heritage, culinary traditions brought over by Italian and Greek immigrants, and endless options from the nearby countries of Asia. But amongst all that, there are a few iconic treats that are purely Australian which you must try, at least once.
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Check out these 10 specialty foods you can only get in the Land Down Under. They’re seriously worth the long flight over!
10 Fairy Bread
Fairy bread is a staple at children’s birthday parties and other get-togethers across Australia. The magic of this dish is very simple. It’s made by spreading white bread with butter and then adding sugared sprinkles on top. The result is a sweet and colorful snack that looks good on any spread. Often cut into triangle slices, fairy bread is one of those foods that you won’t be able to stop eating once you start.
Though it’s not found in every supermarket in Australia, fairy bread is easier than pie to make with three simple ingredients that are widely available.
9 Burger With The Lot
Hamburgers are found all over the world and aren’t an Aussie thing by any measure. But a “burger with the lot” is something you’re likely to only find in the Land Down Under. Filled with typically Australian ingredients, this kind of burger is a staple at pubs, cafes, and fish-and-chip shops around the country.
In most cases, a burger with the lot contains a regular beef patty, and on top, there’s cheese, salad, pineapple, bacon, egg, and beetroot. It’s not the easiest thing to take a bite of without the juices running down your front, but there’s certainly an explosion of flavor.
8 Chiko Roll
The Chiko roll is found at supermarkets and takeaway shops all across Australia, and also makes an appearance at fairs and carnivals. It’s essentially a deep-fried spring roll and was originally called a Chicken Roll, despite not having any chicken inside it.
It’s debated as to whether the Chiko roll originated from the town of Bendigo, Wagga Wagga, or Bathurst where it is now produced. But it first appeared on the Australian food scene in 1951 at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show and has been a favorite among Aussies ever since.
7 Vanilla Slice
You can find a wide selection of desserts in Australia, but one of the most classic Australian sweets available is the vanilla slice. Anybody with a sweet tooth will go made for this rich treat, which is essentially a slab of thick custard in between a few slices of flaky pastry and dusted with icing sugar. Typically, the custard is vanilla, but you can also find chocolate-flavored slices.
These are found just about everywhere in Australia, but the best ones tend to be sold in country town bakeries that you’ll encounter on a road trip.
The reputation of this Australian breakfast staple certainly precedes it. Unlike many other Aussie iconic foods, Vegemite is often despised by foreigners who taste it for the first time. The paste is made from yeast extract, spices, and vegetables, and perhaps the biggest misconception about it is that it’s sweet. It may look like chocolate spread, but if you go in expecting a chocolate flavor, you’re going to have a bad time.
Vegemite is extremely salty and adds a bite to your toast. The best way to have it is by topping only a small amount onto buttered toast. The blending of creamy butter and spicy, salty vegemite is what Aussies love.
Lamingtons are another iconic sweet treat that you must try while in Australia. Usually coming in square or rectangular shapes, these light and fluffy sponge cakes are dipped in chocolate and coated in desiccated coconut. Yum! Sometimes, lamingtons have jelly inside them (called jam in Australia), and other times they’re just plain.
You’ll be able to find lamingtons in any good bakery, and they also come in large packs that you can pick up from the supermarket or convenience store. So easy to eat, these are another Aussie food you won’t be able to put down.
The word snag means different things in different cultures. In Australian culture, a snag is a sausage, and often refers to an adaptation of a hot dog using barbecued sausage and white sliced bread. Often, a snag is topped with ketchup and crunchy onions that have been cooked to perfection on the barbie.
Snags are a frequent summertime dinner treat, but you’ll also find them at picnics. It’s a common occurrence in Australia for hardware stores to hold barbecues in the parking lot on the weekend, where shoppers can grab a snag on their way out to the car.
3 Meat Pies
A savory pie filled with meat may be too much to get your head around if you’ve never been to Australia before. But these classic Aussie specialties are full of flavor, and if you’re not a vegetarian, then you should try them at least once.
Meat pies are usually made with beef, onions, and gravy, though you can get pork pies, lamb pies, and chicken pies too. This is a great snack with which to end a night of partying, and you can find them in every cornerstone, bakery, and supermarket.
2 Golden Gaytime
With temperatures soaring up to around 115 degrees in the summertime, Australia has cause for some delicious ice-creams. A classic that all Aussies are familiar with is the Golden Gaytime. Manufactured by Streets, it’s a toffee and vanilla ice-cream on a stick that is dipped in chocolate and then coated in small pieces of cookie.
No day at the beach is complete without a Golden Gaytime. You can also get them in limited edition flavors like Pina Colada and Unicorn. Fair warning: these are seriously addictive and you won’t be able to stop at just one.
1 Tim Tams
Perhaps the most iconic Aussie food of them all is the Tim Tam. If you bring anything back from Australia with you, it should be several packs of these bad boys. One of the most beloved snacks in the country, the Tim Tam is a chocolate cookie (called a chocolate biscuit/choccy bikkie in Australia) that is coated in a layer of chocolate and also features a gooey chocolate center.
To enjoy a Tim Tam Slam, bite the four corners off the Tim Tam, dip it into a tea or coffee, and sip the drink through the cookie. Then eat the Tim Tam while it’s still soft before it falls apart into your drink. Divine!