Friday Fun: Five Australian Foodstuffs

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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9 thoughts on “Friday Fun: Five Australian Foodstuffs

  1. I looooove pikelets. Grew up eating them in NZ, which shares a lot of random foods with Oz [leading to much bickering about who invented what – don’t get me started on pavs].

    You should try a Afghan biscuit, they’re great. See also Mallowpuffs. And popular Kiwi beverage L&P [a bit like lemonade], if you can find some.

    • I was going to write about pavlova here, then I decided it would be far too controversial. Thanks for the food tips. I will look out for Afghan biscuits and Mallowpuffs (they sound delicious). I’ll be in NZ for a holiday in July so I might get to try some L&P then.

  2. Come and have a cheese pie 🙂 Or a cheese sausage, or some Tasty (brand) cheese! Meat pie made me laugh! And good on you, viciousimagery, for raising the great pav debate! Ah, happy days!

    Apparently kea eat sheep….

    You need dental insurance before you try the Afghan bics, and definitely dip before you bite the NZ gingernut….

    Where are you landing in NZ? Would love to meet you for a pit stop!

    • Mmmmm… I do like cheese:)

      I’m flying into Queenstown and out of Christchurch so I think I will be just be on the South Island. I’d love to meet you too but I think if you’re in Auckland it will be too far this time? Don’t worry, I will visit NZ more than once, I’m sure. I heard that it’s beautiful and since it’s so close to Australia (relatively speaking), it’s a good opportunity for me to explore.

    • Now that you mention it, I remember having apple pancakes in the Netherlands. They were delicious. I am a fan of any kind of pancakes really 🙂

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