Australian Recipes

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Popular Australian Food

Many of the interesting terms which describe uniquely Australian cuisine are inherited from the early pioneers and bushmen who moved from place to place, carrying their swag and billy can.

Anzac Biscuit

Anzac Biscuits: Made with rolled oats, desiccated coconut, flour, sugar, golden syrup, butter, bicarbonate of soda and water. They were made and went in tins to Australian soldiers at the battlefields during World War I.

Meat Pie

Meat Pies: Individual mince meat pies small enough to be held in your hands for eating. They are traditionally sold at sporting and other community events, usually smothered with tomato sauce.

Balmain Bug

Balmain Bugs: Unusually shaped, flat crustaceans found in Sydney harbour. They have a mild-flavoured white flesh and are usually barbecued, grilled or boiled.

Billy Tea

Billy Tea: Tea made in a metal can, called a billy, over an open fire. The billy has a wire handle and a tight-fitting lid. Water is brought to the boil, the lid removed and tea added. The billy is then removed from the fire and tea drunk from metal cups.

Cocky's Joy

Cocky's Joy: A tin of either golden syrup or treacle was one of the basics that swagmen used to carry with them. It had many uses like sweetening billy tea, spreading on damper or pouring over puddings.

Cuppa: A cup of tea.


Damper: A basic bread originally made simply with flour and water, kneaded, shaped into a round and cooked in the coals of a fire made on the ground. Raising agents or self-raising flour are used to make damper now. Some campers make the dough and mould a small amount around one end of a thick stick. The stick is then held over a fire. When the damper is cooked, golden syrup is poured in the hole left by the stick.


Lamingtons: Pieces of light sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and coconut. It is believed Queenslanders named them after a popular early Governor of Queensland.


Fish: Australia's coastline is a breeding ground for a large variety of fish. Snapper, garfish, leatherjacket, jewfish, flathead and gemfish are some of the most common types available. John Dory and Barramundi, both mild-flavoured fish, are very popular and highly regarded.

Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith Apples: Green-skinned variety with crisp juicy flesh. They were first grown in Sydney, New South Wales in the late nineteenth century. They are used extensively in cookery and are an excellent eating apple.

Rock OystersRock Oysters: Popular edible molluscs found on Australian seashores. Eaten straight from the shell, although some people prefer them grilled or poached.


Pavlova: Basically a large meringue served with fruit and cream. Controversy still surrounds the country of origin. Australians claim it is their very own and believe it was invented by a chef in Western Australia when the great Russian dancer Pavlova was touring early this century. New Zealanders claim it had already been written into their cookery books ten years earlier.


Shellfish: Australians are quite partial to shellfish. In seafood restaurants, a platter consisting of a variety of shellfish and fish is highly prized.

Tucker: Colloquial term for food.


Tropical Fruits: When in season, fruits such as mangoes, paw paws and pineapples are sent from northern Australia to southern states and are enjoyed in various ways.


 A vegetable extract used as a spread on toast or bread and as a flavouring in soups and casseroles. Australians who live overseas have a reputation for not being happy unless they have a supply of Vegemite.


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