Australia Food, a Brief History

> > The Food Down Under through Time

Today it is rich, tasty, stylish and based on fresh ingredients. But Australia food was not always like this.

It started very differently.

Things were pretty hard at the beginning with supply quite scarce.

Then various ethnic populations contributed their own experience and passion for food.

Here is a brief history of the Australian cuisine from its early beginnings to present time.

Australia Food - The Beginnings

The First Fleet left England's shores with food supplies for 2 years, but by the time they arrived in Sydney half was gone and the other half was old. They had to make do with whatever was available locally: fish and native animals.

Lack of vegetables and fruit meant many of them suffered from scurvy.

So they started to cultivate the soil, not an easy task in an unfriendly environment. And they cleared the land to grow sheep and cattle. Hence beef and lamb have a long tradition in Australian cooking.

Rabbits were introduced to Australia too, but they became a pest very soon and destroyed native plants which fed native animals. As farmers were happy to get rid of them, rabbits became a very cheap food item. Lots of rabbit recipes appeared but not many people liked the meat, despite its healthy nutritive qualities.

Rabbit meat is lean and packed with proteins but at that time this was not what people wanted from food. However now it is part of the sophisticated Australian gastronomy.

Aboriginal food did not interest European settlers as it was too different from what they were used to eat.



But things have changed now and native herbs and spices are becoming more sought after. As most things natural, they have great nutritional benefits and add flavour and balance to our diet.

Have a go and search for some Australian spices and seasoning at Amazon. You'll enjoy the taste.

Multicultural Influences in Australia's Food

The Chinese came to Australia during the gold rush period, after 1850. They brought their

  • cooking philosophy which is all about balance,    
    and    
  • cooking methods, which help retain the natural qualities of food by steaming or heating it very quickly.

They did not manage to change the eating habits of the population of that time. However Chinese and other Asian dishes are in much demand today.

The many waves of migration influenced the way Australians cook and eat. Many new vegetables and fuit appeared, new cooking techniques that made food more crispy and tasty, new blends of aromas and spices.

The Mediterranean Food Style

australia has many quality wines

The Italians, Greeks and other south European migrants created a whole new cuisine in this country.

More fish and poultry, pasta, olive oil, varieties of cheese, broad use of vegetables and wine drinking are the highlights of the Mediterranean eating habits, and they are today part of local foods. They contrasted with food Australians used to eat, where red meat was on the dinner table every day.

They also brought new methods of brewing the coffee and established vineyards. Both coffee and wine are today part of the Australia food culture.

Australian wines are famous for their quality and sell all over the world.

And they win many gold medals at various wine competitions.


Click the thumbnails below for more information about food Down Under.

Australian cuisine

Aussie food culture

Dining out, partying



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