What is Australia’s national dish?
Italy is synonymous with pizza, Spain is famous for its paella and Thailand has its spicy tom yum. Could Australia’s claim to culinary fame be the salty black sticky spread we know as Vegemite, or is it the sweet lamington, a cube of cake covered in chocolate icing and coconut? Intrepid’s John Kirk goes in search of the favourite ‘fair dinkum Aussie tucker’…
“One of the joys of travel is discovering new foods, although many visitors to Australia often avoid one of the country’s favourite dishes – the meat pie. They don’t know what they are missing!
As an Intrepid leader, I have fun watching the faces of my travellers as they taste a pie for the first time. While it looks a bit like an English pie, the Aussie meat pie is a totally different eating experience.
It’s a round or square pastry case filled with meat and gravy, with the option of lashings of tomato sauce (ketchup). It’s eaten as a hot snack or a meal, any time of the day, usually out of a paper bag. It is a must at any Aussie Rules football match on a cold wintry day!
These days the pie has become quite sophisticated, with gourmet fillings such as pepper steak or Thai curried chicken. One of my favourites is the ‘Ned Kelly’, named after our famous bushranger, with its filling of minced beef, bacon, egg and cheese – yum! Then there is Adelaide’s special pie floater – a hot meat pie floating in a bowl of thick mushy pea soup – a true taste sensation.
I have my favourite bakeries all along the east coast – some with great pies like the award-winning Mick’s in the outback Queensland town of Ingham and others with great names (and great pies) like ‘I Only Have Pies For You’ in the quaint NSW lakeside town of Tea Gardens.
So when you are next in Australia, try an Aussie meat pie with sauce – fair dinkum Aussie tucker!”