The Australian native fruits

There are many species of Australian native fruits, such as Quandong (native peach), Wattleseed, Muntries/Munthari berry, Illawarra plums, Riberry, Native Raspberries and Lilli pillies.These usually fall under the category of “bush tucker”, (bush foods), which are used more commonly in restaurants and used in commercial preserves and pickles but are not generally well known to Australians due to low availability. Australia also has large fruit growing regions in most states for tropical fruits in the north, stone fruits and temperate fruits in the south which has a mediterranean or temperate climate. The Granny Smith variety of apples first originated in Sydney, Australia in 1868. Another well known Australian apple variety is the Cripps Pink, known locally and internationally as “Pink Lady” apples, which was first cultivated in 1973.

Fruit is widely used in Australian cuisine however is consumed mostly in its fresh, rather than cooked form with the successful “2 fruit and 5 veg” campaign for healthy portions per day. In terms of cooked fruit dishes, fruits are often eaten poached in sugar syrup (often with spices such as vanilla, cloves or citrus peel) and eaten as a breakfast or dessert, which is more common amongst older Australians, or baked in dishes such as apple crumble, pies, pastries and cakes. Fresh fruit is often consumed simply without any adulteration at any time of day, or combined in fruit salad, which is a popular summer dessert nationally.

Popular and commonly available fruits produced in Australia are typically: apples, banana, kiwi fruit, oranges and other citrus, mangoes (seasonally), pears, nectarines, plums, apricots, grapes, melons, pawpaw, papaya, pineapple, passionfruit and berry fruits (such as strawberries, raspberries etc.). Other fruits tend not to be widely cultivated due to the plant requiring climate or soil conditions that are not cost effective or the plant species is not well known to the general market.

As these fruits tend to be available in most supermarkets across the nation (seasonally) with large chain supermarkets often providing free recipe cards and recipes online, there are few areas with a distinctly local manner of preparing, cooking & serving fruit dishes that are not found in other Australian states.

Seafood in Australia

Australia’s 11 million square kilometre fishing zone is the third largest in the world and allows for bountiful access to seafood which significantly influences Australian cuisine. Clean ocean environments around Australia produce high quality seafoods for domestic consumption and export. lobster, prawn, tuna, salmon and abalone are the main ocean species harvested commercially, while aquaculture produces more than 60 species for consumption including edible oysters, salmonoids, southern bluefin tuna, mussel, prawn, barramundi, yellowtail kingfish, and freshwater finifish .While inland river and lake systems are relatively sparse, they nevertheless provide some unique fresh water game fish and crustacea suitable for dining. Fishing and aquaculture constitute Australia’s fifth most valuable agricultural industry after wool, beef, wheat and dairy.Approximately 600 varieties of marine and freshwater seafood species are caught and sold in Australia for both local and overseas consumption.

Australian cuisine features Australian seafood such as: Southern bluefin tuna, King George whiting, Moreton Bay bug, Mud Crab, Jew Fish, Dhufish (Western Australia) and Yabby. Australia is one of the largest producers of abalone and rock lobster. Fish and chips is a popular take-away food that originated in the United Kingdom and which remains popular in Australia. It generally consists of deep-fried fish (often flake rather than cod in Australia) batter with deep-fried chipped (slab-cut) potatoes. Flathead fish is also popular sport and table fish found in all parts of Australia. Barramundi is an iconic sporting fish found in Northern Australian river systems. Highly prized by anglers for their good fighting ability, it is a common eating dish in seafood restaurants.

Most Australians live close to the coast and have ready access to high quality seafood restaurants and local fish and chip shops. Sydney in particular is noted for its harbourside seafood restaurants, including the Doyles chain in Sydney, notably Doyles on the Beach at Watson’s Bay; and Tetsuya’s Restaurant owned by chef Tetsuya Wakuda which bases its menu on Australian, Japanese and classic French cuisine, and makes use of Australian ingredients including Tasmanian Ocean Trout.

The Australian Beverages

Billy tea is the drink prepared by the ill-fated Swagman in the popular Australian folksong Waltzing Matilda. Boiling water for tea over a camp fire and adding a gum leaf for flavouring remains an iconic traditional Australian method for preparing tea, which was a staple drink of the Australian colonial period.

The Australian Wine Industry is the fourth largest exporter of wine around the world, with 760 million litres a year to a large international export market and contributes $5.5 billion per annum to the nation’s economy. There is also a significant domestic market for Australian wines, with Australians consuming nearly 500 million litres of wine per year in the early 21st Century. Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares. Australia’s wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. Amongst the most famous wine districts are the Hunter Valley and Barossa Valley and among the best known wine producers are Penfolds, Rosemount Estate, Wynns Coonawarra Estate and Lindeman’s.

Beer in Australia has been popular since colonial times. James Squire is considered to have founded Australia’s first commercial brewery in 1798 and the Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Tasmania, has been operating since the early 19th century. Since the 1970s, Australian beers have become increasingly popular globally – with Fosters lager being an iconic export brand. However, Fosters is not the biggest seller on the local market, with alternatives including Victoria Bitter outselling the popular export. Craft beers are also becoming popular, from breweries such as Coopers and Little Creatures.

Australia has a distinct coffee culture and is often cited as being one of the most developed and vibrant in the world.The development of the coffee industry has grown not from coffee chains but through independent cafés born out of early Greek and Italian immigration since the early 20th century.

The iconic Greek cafés of Sydney and Melbourne were the first to introduce locally roasted coffees in 1910. In 1952, the first espresso machines began to appear in Australia and a plethora of fine Italian coffee houses were emerging in Melbourne and Sydney. Pelligrini’s Espresso Bar and Legend Café often lay claim to being Melbourne’s first ‘real’ espresso bars opening their doors in 1954 and 1956 respectively. This decade also saw the establishment of one of Australia’s most iconic coffee brands, Vittoria which remains the country’s largest coffee maker and distributor.

The Australian-invented flat white, which was developed sometime in the latter half of the 20th century. It has become extremely popular across the country and is one of the most popular espresso beverages. The flat white’s popularity has also spread to New Zealand and is beginning to take hold in the United Kingdom. The flat white is a Cafe Latte with no foam.

In the 1980s, Italy’s Lavazza coffee began its export business in Australia, a whole decade before expanding into the UK and US markets. Since this time espresso based coffees have remained the most popular form of coffee amongst Australians

Although Australians often drink tea at home, it has been found that in out-of-home establishments where tea and coffee are sold together, tea accounted for only 2.5% of total sales. To this day, coffee chains such as Starbucks have very little market share in Australia. One reason for this is that unlike in the United States and Asia, Australia already had a developed coffee culture for many decades before their introduction to the market.

Development of modern Australian cuisine

Following the pre-colonial period, European settlers began arriving with the First Fleet of British ships at Sydney harbour in 1788. The British settlers found some familiar game in Australia – such as swan, goose, pigeon and fish – but the new settlers often had difficulty adjusting to the prospect of native fauna as a staple diet.They set about establishing agricultural industries producing more familiar Western style produce. After initial difficulties, Australian agriculture became a major global producer and supplied an abundance of fresh produce for the local market. Stock grazing (mostly sheep and cattle) are prevalent throughout the continent. Queensland and New South Wales became Australia’s main beef cattle producers, while dairy cattle farming is found in the southern states, predominantly in Victoria. Wheat and other grain crops are spread fairly evenly throughout the mainland states. Sugar cane is also a major crop in Queensland and New South Wales. Fruit and vegetables are grown throughout Australia.

Other than the indigenous climate and produce, Australian cuisine has been derived from the tastes of immigrant settlers to Australia and the produce they have introduced to the continent. The British colonial period established a strong base of interest in Anglo-Celtic style recipes and methods. Subsequent waves of multicultural immigration, with a majority drawn from Asia and the Mediterranean region, and the strong, sophisticated food cultures these ethnic communities have brought with them influenced the development of Australian cuisine. Besides the culinary heritage of the Anglo-Celtic majority, the cuisines of China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are not only popular, but have also left the greatest impact on Modern Australian cuisine. In recent times there are also substantial influences and culinary trends from American cuisine, French cuisine, Indian cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Moroccan cuisine and Spanish cuisine.

Fresh produce is readily available and thus used extensively, and the trend (urged by long-term government health initiatives) is towards low-salt, low-fat healthy cookery incorporating lean meat and lightly cooked, colourful, steamed or stir-fried vegetables. With most of the Australian population residing in coastal areas, fish and seafood is popular. In the temperate regions of Australia vegetables are traditionally eaten seasonally, especially in regional areas, although in urban areas there is large scale importation of fresh produce sourced from around the world by supermarkets and wholesalers for grocery stores, to meet demands for year-round availability. During Spring: Artichoke, Asparagus, Beanshoots, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Leek, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Peas, Rhubarb, and Spinach. During Summer: Capsicum, Cucumber, Eggplant, Squash, Tomato, and Zucchini.

Australia’s climate makes barbecues commonplace. Barbecue stalls selling sausages and fried onion on white bread with tomato or barbecue sauce are common in fund raising for schools or community groups. These stalls are called “Sausage Sizzles”.

Indigenous Australian bush tucker

Bushfood (referred to as bush tucker in Australia) traditionally relates to any food native to Australia and used as sustenance by the original inhabitants, the Australian Aborigines, but it is a reference to any native fauna/flora that is used for culinary and/or medicinal purposes regardless of which continent or culture it originates from. Examples of Australian native animal foods (meats) include kangaroo, emu and crocodile. In particular, kangaroo is quite common and can be found in many normal supermarkets, often cheaper than beef. Other animals, for example goanna and witchetty grubs, were eaten by Aboriginal Australians. Fish and shellfish are culinary features of the Australian coastal communities.

Before the arrival of the First Fleet of Europeans at Sydney in 1788, indigenous Australians survived off the often unique native flora and fauna of the Australian bush, for between 40,000 and 60,000 years. Hunting of kangaroo, wallaby and emu was common. Other foods widely consumed included bogong moths, witchetty grubs, lizards and snakes. Bush berries, fruits, and honeys were also used.

Resource availability and dietary makeup varied from region to region – desert dwellers could be constantly on the move to find new foods, while other tribal districts allowed relatively fixed positioning. Fish were caught using technologies such as spears, hooks and traps. Food preparation techniques also varied, however a common cooking technique was for the carcass to be thrown directly on a camp fire to be roasted.

Examples of Australian native plant foods include the fruits: quandong, kutjera, muntries, riberry, Davidson’s plum, and finger lime. Native spices include lemon myrtle, mountain pepper, and aniseed myrtle. A popular leafy vegetable is warrigal greens. Nuts include bunya nut, and the most identifiable bushfood plant harvested and sold in large scale commercial quantities is the macadamia nut. Knowledge of Aboriginal uses of fungi is meagre but beefsteak fungus and native “bread” (a fungus also), were certainly eaten.

Australian cuisine and culture

Australian cuisine refers to the cuisine of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding indigenous and colonial societies. Indigenous Australians have occupied the lands of Australia for some 40,000–60,000 years, during which time they developed a unique hunter gatherer diet, known as “bush tucker”, drawn from regional Australian flora and fauna—such as the kangaroo. Australia was, from 1788 to 1900, a collection of British colonies in which culinary tastes were strongly influenced by British and Irish traditions – and agricultural products such as beef cattle, sheep and wheat became staples in the national diet. Post-war Australia’s multicultural immigration program lead to a diversification of the cuisine of Australia, particularly under the influence of Mediterranean and East Asian migrants.

Australia food culture is heavily influenced by years of migration took place in last four centuries. Settlers in this continental nation have developed mixed cuisines which represent various people and ant their food habits. Some of the leading cuisine types in Australia have come from China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam from Asia side. Similarly, whereas European settlers have brought English, French and Italian food, Mediterranean settlers have gave diversity and Greek and Lebanese are quite popular among travelers.

Settlers from India have diverse food culture and their cuisines are as diverse as diverse are India’s food. Besides, all the outside people and their food culture, Australia has its original people and their food culture which is based on 40,000 years history and traditions carried out successfully generate after generation. European settlers brought Anglo-Celtic British and Irish food which serves the base for modern Australian food. British brought modern ways of living, farming and cooking in the land of Australia.

Whereas earlier food culture of modern Australia was influenced by British and Irish settlers, the 20th century food culture has been heavily influenced by Mediterranean and Asian cuisine which in fact has been an outcome of immigrants from the respective regions.

The process of globalization has great influence in current cuisine and food culture and today, the country has a global food culture wherein veg and non-veg foods consisting pies, roasted cuts of meat, grilled steak and chops, etc. can be found easily.

Australian cuisine of the first decade of the 21st century shows the influence of globalisation. Organic and biodynamic, kosher and halal foods have become widely available and there has been a revival of interest in bushfoods. British traditions persist to varying degrees in domestic cooking and the takeaway food sector, with roast dinners, the Australian meat pie and fish and chips remaining popular, but there are also new elements featured in these foods. To barbecue meats in the open air is considered a treasured national tradition. While fast food chains are abundant, Australia’s metropolitan centres possess many famed haute cuisine and nouvelle cuisine establishments. Restaurants whose product includes contemporary adaptations, interpretations or fusions of exotic influences are frequently termed “Modern Australian”.