There are some things about Aussies the world will never understand – namely those foods we can’t get enough of. It’s hopeless trying to explain them. Let’s just tuck in and be proud
AROUND the world there are dishes that make no sense to the Aussie palate. Most of us turn our noses up at things like 1000-year-old eggs in China, the sludgy flesh of preserved Thai mountain crabs or the men’s-toilets-after-a-big-barnseyconcert stink of durian fruit.
But this begs the question – what do Aussies love to eat that no one else gets? Here are my top 10 contenders for the Aussie Foodie Roll Call Of Shame.
Australians have had a long love affair with the sav – battered or not. Sold from carts in Melbourne’s alleys as “cutthroats” 150 years ago, they were a street snack, slit and slathered in tomato sauce. We love them so much we’ve given them a whole list of friendly names like “cheerios”, “footy franks” or the slightly more uncomfortable “little boys”.
DEVON, FRITZ & BUNG
You can always tell a local delicacy when it has different names in different states. So it is with this dense roll of porky deliciousness. Tourists who baulk at its slight rubberiness in a white bread and tomato sauce sandwich – sigh! – have obviously never microwaved those slices until they get a little crispy at the edges.
THE PIE FLOATER
The “dirty street pie” with “dead horse” served on top of soupy mushy peas is bad enough. But to call it a pie floater is an instant concern to anyone who understands Aussie toilet humour. These are the same people who are scared to visit London’s famous “gastro pubs”.
Overseas you can can a sardine, a tuna or even a crab but suggest canning oysters and eyebrows shoot up faster than Billy the Kid with lard-greased holsters. To make matters worse, here we smoke them before serving on soggy SAOS.
FRIED DIM SIMS
Like its brothers, the Chiko roll and the potato cake, visitors just ask one thing about these. Why?
THE VANILLA SLICE
Likened to a delicate, French millefeuille, but with a custard so bouncy you might think it was made in a tyre factory, the humble vanilla slice is a hard sell. Just between us, when it comes to the “snot block”, I think our foreign guests might be right.
You can usually sell traditional Twisties to backpackers as there’s a universal love of junky faked cheese flavours. But unless they truly appreciate chicken salt, they’ll baulk at this variation.
Explaining that our national spread was originally made from the yeasty leftover scraped from beer barrels seems to do little to persuade people that this is some form of Aussie black gold rather than the scrapings from under Satan’s toenails.
Offensive as this is for some, we are not alone in our love of pineapple on pizza. Popping pineapple in a burger, however, is far more unique and therefore far more bamboozling to tourists, especially when pickled beetroot is also added.
This looks so beautiful with its velvety chocolate coat flecked with coconut, but really it’s a sponge in disguise. Like when you peel off the ribbons and paper from that extravagently wrapped Christmas present from your mum to discover it’s just another pair of black socks.