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The basics
Australia: Essentials - Must read

Essentials: Food, drink and cuisine in Australia

Learn about Australia's vibrant cuisine, including "bush food", their affinity for seafood and the country's thriving wine industry...

Australian food and cuisine - seafood paella

There is a common misconception that Australia is all about barbeques. While it is true that the gloriously-hot weather lends itself to outdoor eating, there are many different aspects to Australian cuisine beyond the “Barbie” we all know about.

Australia is incredibly diverse as a nation and this is reflected in its cuisine. Years of mass immigration from various countries across Asia as well as Greece, Italy and France has seen these dishes become incorporated into Australia’s everyday dining habits.

Have a look at what Australia has to offer when it comes to food and drink....


Modern Australian cuisine

Due to the warm weather, Australia is quite a lucky country in that there is always a wide range of fresh ingredients available to cook with all year round, rather than relying on ingredients which are stored from previous seasons. The use of this produce, readily available and extensively used, is encouraged by the Australian government who actively encourages citizens to have a low-fat reduced salt healthier lifestyle (something which goes hand-in-hand with the active lifestyle).

Similarly, Australia is a country that encourages immigration which is something that has a significant impact not only on culture, but on the food industry. There are many Asia and Mediterranean influences within the culinary sector, so there are a wide range of foods from a number of different countries. Popular food influences in Australia includes Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine as well as French, Italian, Greek and British foods.


Eating outdoors

The weather in Australia also means that there is a strong tradition for eating outdoors, specifically through cooking. There are a number of foods cooked on a barbecue from meats, from pork joints and steaks to seafood – basically anything which can be eaten easily on laps or with one hand (with the other reserved for a cold beverage).

As the food eaten is traditionally cooked and eaten outdoors, barbecues tend to be popular during nearly all year round. The focus is often on cooked meats, vegetable and salads as opposed to carbohydrates.


Fresh seafood

One of Australia’s key advantages, apart from the glorious weather, is that the country is an island, surrounded by water. As such seafood is a fantastic part of the Australian diet – what’s more, it is also much lower in fat than traditional meats! As well as tuna, salmon, lobster and prawns, there are also a number of fish available which you might not be familiar with, such as mud crab and dhufish.

In fact, there are over 6000 varieties of seafood species caught and sold for consumption – so you’ll be spoilt for choice.


Indigenous foods

Indigenous food refers to the "bush food" eaten by native Australians prior to the influence of European settlers in 1788. Prior to this, native Australians lived off natural fruits and berries as well as eating native meats such as kangaroo and emu. These days, some indigenous food still can be found in specialist food stores and restaurants across the country.


Drinks to cool you down

It’s no secret that Australians love their beer, but it is perhaps a surprise that they also love their wine and coffee too. Adelaide is the wine capital of the country, while Australia is the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world. Australian coffee culture, particularly in big cities like Melbourne and Sydney, has inspired a wave of café cultures worldwide. Australians are furiously proud of their café culture and are happy to pay more for a coffee they know will be high-quality. With house specialities such as cold-drip and pour-over coffee, as well as constantly changing, locally-grown blends, Australian baristas aren’t afraid to experiment with flavour and are only too happy to explain the difference between each and every blend in their arsenal. In fact, you’ll struggle to find a chain like Starbucks as Australia favours smaller, independent chains with their own unique personality.


And get ready to be addicted too...

Tim-Tams! While any sort of Australian local produce (particularly seafood) is sure to set your mouth watering, if we’re to reduce Australia’s vibrant culinary scene to just one food, it has to be a Tim-Tam. The world-famous chocolate biscuit with a chocolate cream filling is best enjoyed through the ‘Tim-Tam Slam,’ an Australian innovation that involves biting the end off each side of the biscuit, and then using it as a straw to drink a warm, milk-based drink. For extra credit, try it with a warm Milo, an Australian chocolate malt powder you stir into milk.


Now that you’re inspired to head down under, start your journey to study in Australia today.


Read more:

'The Australian higher education system....simplified'

'Tuition fees in Australia'

'Applying to study in Australia'

'Applying for a student visa in Australia'

'Student accommodation in Australia'


Study in Australia


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