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Top food and drink tips

  • The average urban Australian eats out several times a weekTake a tour round a winery
  • Try a 'pie floater' or Chiko Roll
  • Drink some Aussie real ale
  • Sample Moreton Bay Bugs
  • Experiment with fusion food
  • Don't drink and drive

Aussie Beer

Beer in Australia basically means cold lager with a strength of around 5 per cent. Beer connoisseurs looking for something akin to real ale should check out Coopers, which is brewed in South Australia, or Sydney's James Squire. There are also are several micro-breweries specializing in cider.

Darwin residents are Australia's biggest consumers of beer. Unsurprisingly then, Darwin is also home to the world's largest beer bottle: the 1.25 litre Darwin stubby.


Australian Wine

South Australia is the biggest producer of wineThe international reputation of Australian wine has never been greater, and most wineries have salerooms which offer wines available for tasting. Major wine growing regions containing large numbers of wineries you can visit are:

  • Barrossa Valley (renowned for its Shiraz)
  • Hunter Valley (Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz)
  • Yarra Valley (sparkling wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir)

The cheapest wine comes in 2 and 4 litre casks, and on average Australians drink twice as much wine per capita as Americans or Britons. 'Kangarouge' is the equivalent of vin de table.

If driving, bear in mind that the blood alcohol limit in Australia is a half-pint less than in the UK. Random breath testing is widespread, and in some states if you hit something, you face a compulsory breath test.


Australian Food

Australia has become famous in the culinary world for its 'fusion' food: since the 1970s Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese Japanese and Indian immigrants in particular have had a big impact on Australian cuisine. As well as Asian, you will also be able to find Spanish, Balkan, Hungarian, Turkish and Lebanese restaurants.

Recommendations:
  • Pie Floater — Adelaide speciality of a meat pie floating on a mushy pea soup
  • Sydney Rock Oysters — a good place to try seafood in Sydney is Doyle's in Watson Bay.
  • Moreton Bay Bugs — Brisbane is famous for these crustaceans, which are a type of slipper lobster. Other Australian seafood delicacies include mud crabs and yabbies (freshwater crayfish)
  • Italian — Norton Street (Sydney) and Lygon Street (Melbourne) are both renowned for their Italian restaurants
  • Greek — Lonsdale Street in Melbourne (home to the biggest Greek community outside Greece)
  • Desserts — retro classics such as Peach Melba, Pavolva, Lamingtons and ANZAC biscuits (coconut oat cookies)

Traditional australian food specialities

Australia has become famous in the culinary world for its 'fusion' food: since the 1970s Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese Japanese and Indian immigrants in particular have had a big impact on Australian cuisine. As well as Asian, you will also be able to find Spanish, Balkan, Hungarian, Turkish and Lebanese restaurants.

Think of Australian food and most people imagine barbeques and Vegemite. Some other traditional Aussie fare is shown below.

Aussie meat pie with ketchup Meat Pie
Traditionally served with a dollop of tomato ketchup or, in Adelaide, floating on a bed of mushy peas.

one of many flavours of Chico RollChicko Rolls (inspired by Chinese spring rolls)
These were invented as a hot snack that could be eaten with one hand, leaving the other free for a beer.

surf'n'turf or seafood and steakSurf'n'turf
According to some, this mix of meat (steak or pork) plus seafood served with salad is making a bit of a comeback.


Indigenous Cuisine

witchetty grubs ready for eatingRecently restaurants have made greater use of indigenous foods, for example kangaroos and emus are farmed commercially for their meat, which is low in fat and high in fibre.

Less well-known ingredients being used by chefs include: lemon aspen, Illawarra plumbs, muntari berries, lemon myrtle, lilli pillies and bush tomatoes.

Bush Tucker

Aboriginal food that has yet to become widespread in restaurants includes witchetty grubs (which are very rich in protein) and Bogong moths (these are roasted in a fire and eaten like a peanut).


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