Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Praise of Australian food

Blonde Canadian wrote in a comment on More ramblings on Australian food:

urgh, mango risotto sounds horrid!

When I was an exchange student in Germany for a year I was often asked to prepare a 'typical australian meal'.They'd get vegemite on toast or perhaps a bbq.

Even those seemed like a cop-out though, being borrowed from other cultures.

Now BC has exactly captured my point. Australian food is in fact wonderful in its ingredients and variety. The problem lies not in the food, but in ourselves. Don't believe me? Well, consider this.

If I was faced by the challenge that BC faced, my starting point would be to look at what my German friends were eating. There is no point in serving things like sausages even though Australia now has great variety in this area.

My second point would be to look at local availability of ingredients. I suspect that some of the things that I might like to use may not be available in German supermarkets.

Then I would have to look at food and wine prices.

Assuming no limit on availability and food prices, and some decent cooking facilities, I suspect that the simplest modern Australian meal that I might offer would be this.

I would start with nibbles.

Nuts (macadamia, cashews among others), crystallised ginger, sultanas and raisins, water cracker biscuits, a variety of Australian cheeses, Australian olives, perhaps a local Australian salami. I might serve this with several Australian sherries, a dry Australian white, perhaps Australian beer given that this is Germany.

I would follow this with roast chicken.

Marinated in lemon and oregano. A stuffing made of bread crumbs, some garlic, diced onion, chopped herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage, pepper and salt) and diced tomato. Roast vegetables - potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, although Europeans tend to think of the last as stock feed. The concept of pumpkin scones is very alien. And the greens. And then the gravy. Crispy skin chicken, stuffing, gravy and roast vegetables. Wonderful!

I would serve this with a sample of Australian whites.

As an aside, my children love this dish if not the wine. I serve it two out of three Sundays!

I would follow this with a desert centred on one of Australia's greatest assets, fresh fruit with cream and perhaps ice cream as well. Here I would serve one of Australia's rather nice desert wines.

Everything in this menu is Australian. It is but one example of what Australian food has to offer!

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Someone once told me that in America they usually eat pumpkin only in Pumpkin Pie.

What a waste! Roast Pumpkin is so so beautiful Who can go past a Roast Pumpkin and Feta salad... or how about just Roast Pumpkin with your choice of roast meat!?