Pikelets: We had pikelets (mini pancakes) at smoko (break time) yesterday, which is what sparked this whole post off. Back in Edinburgh we used to sell pikelets in the supermarket where I worked. I thought they were French, like crêpes.
“We’re all out of blinis I’m afraid, but perhaps you’d like some pee-ke-lays to go with your smoked salmon?”
But no, they’re Aussie, so pike-lets it is, then. They don’t sound half so glamorous now.
Meat pies: Before I came out here three different Australians told me independently “You have got to try an Aussie meat pie.” So I did, and this is what I thought: Meh. Don’t get me wrong, they’re tasty all right, but come on, it’s meat stuffed in a pastry case. We can do that in the UK too, you know. Then I heard a rumour that the quality of the meat pie depends on the brand. Maybe if I try a few different brands I might find a pie that blows me away? I’m prepared to give it a shot.
Kangaroo: Did you know that kookaburras eat kangaroo? It’s true. I was having a barbeque with some friends in a national park in Victoria and just as I raised my sandwich to my lips, a kookaburra swooped past my face and swiped the kangaroo sausage right out from between the bread slices.
Crocodile: One of the textbooks I worked with when I was teaching English as a foreign language had a chapter devoted to international food. It said that Australians eat crocodile. I didn’t believe it for a second. I thought that crocodiles were endangered. But then I got here and discovered that you can buy crocodile burgers at gourmet burger stands. I’ll try one someday. It’s about time crocodiles were put back into their rightful place in the food chain.
Anzac biscuits: For today’s smoko we had Anzac biscuits baked by the farmer’s wife. She told me that they are so named (ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps) because they used to be sent out to soldiers fighting in the war. The rolled oat biscuits kept well which made them ideal for transporting abroad. They didn’t last very long at smoko; less than five minutes I would say.
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