Aussie foods

Old Jan 26th, 2005, 09:17 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aussie foods

Can you please tell us the names of restaurants, markets, or supermarkets in Melboroune, Cairns, or Sidney which sell the following:
Barramundi...
wattle seed...
bugs and yabbies and mud crabs... Are they the same? If not, which is better?
bush tucker...
bream... (Also, what is it?)
trevally... (What is this?)
whittety grubs...
kangaroo...
crockodile...
ostrich...

What are your two favorite desserts at La Renassiance in Sydney?

Any other great foods we should taste while in Australia?

Any buffet style restaurants where we can sample a lot of different Aussie foods?

Thanks,

Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2005, 10:43 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Give Sydney and Melbourne a miss for Barramundi - it 'has' to be fresh and that means getting it in either North Queensland or NT. Wattle seed- probably at any Health Food Store, bugs are Morton Bay Bugs and again only north of the Queensland border. Yabbies are different depending on which State you live in. In Qld that are little crustations which you use as bait for fish. Mud Crabs are also a Queensland item. Bush Tucker is anything that is found in the bush and could eaten mainly as a staple for Aborigines and now used in a variety of dishes for everyone ( well not all of it ) Bream is a fish as is trevally. Whitchitty grubs are a disgusting grub that lives in the ground or in bark and is eaten either alive or roasted by Aborigines. As for the rest - the meat is quite nice but really is not worth the cost of it. Kangaroo is at our local Supermarket and is good because it has no Cholesterol - same with the other 2 I think as well. Croc tastes like chicken and ostrich ( we have Emus) is also like chichen but the rest of the animal is very handy for all the good things that it does.
lizF is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 03:51 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Liz.
Vegemite is a Kraft foods product. Do Australian supermarkets carry cereal like Cheerios? Think it is a General Mills product...

Are there WalMarts in Australia? I know there are Targets...
Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 11:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No Wal-Marts to the best of my knowledge, but there are (generally smaller) equivalents. Target I think is not a subsidiary of any US company -likewise KMart, owned by the Coles-Myer group, and Big W. The two main supermarket chains are Woolworths (again, no connection to the US company) and Coles. Aldi, the budget German supermarket chain, is making inroads. As you'd expect, most such stores are situated in suburban locations.

Moreton Bay Bugs (from Queensland) and Sydney's related but not-as-good Balmain Bugs are a variety of small lobster. Yabbies are a small freshwater crayfish. All good, as are mud crabs, the Queensland variety of which can be very large.

Witchetty grubs are indeed a disgusting life form and I wouldn't eat one for a bet - very few Australians would. As Liz mentioned, ostriches are not native to Australia, although a lot of people got conned into farming them and, I suspect, all came to grief. (I think a number of Americans got talked into farming emus and met the same fate, which is why groups of wild emus have been seen in Texas.) Would you believe that the promotions relied on world ostrich feather sale figures taken from Edwardian days, when they adorned ladies' hats. Truly a fool and his money are soon parted.

Emu meat is certainly available, as is crocodile, but I agree with Liz that they're mainly curiosity value. Kangaroo is a lean meat which in fillet form should be cooked medium-rare at most or it will end up like old boots. Cooked properly it's very good IMO, and there's certainly no shortage of 'roos to supply the market.

Frozen possum carcasses are available from some gourmet meat outlets. Haven't tried them, though.

There's a Sydney restaurant that specialises in "bush tucker", but I couldn't find it when searching - maybe another poster knows of it?

Australian restaurant food, apart from a bewildering variety of ethnic eateries, is most typically a form of fusion cooking, often making use of south-east Asian ingredients.

We may be the only country that eats the two animals on the national coat of arms.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 02:54 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Neil, there used to be a restaurant in Hornsby, north of Sydney,specialising in bush tucker but don't know if its still there. Snazzy, in Cairns, its Red Ochre (cnr Shields and Aplin Sts) although there are many other restaurants using the traditional bush tucker flavourings and condiments. These can be bought at Red Ochre, which also serves the delicious freshwater redclaw. By the way, snazzy, if you ask for Cheerios in Queensland you'll probably be given little cocktail frankfurts which are used extensively at children's birthday parties, after being dipped in tomato sauce (ketchup).
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 03:52 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Pat - the one I was thinking of is (I think) in the vicinity of York Street. Haven't been there myself but it was getting good writeups.

Snazzy, the variety of cereals in Australia aren't as wide as in the US (to state the obvious) but I'm sure you'll find something that fits the bill. You might get a taste for muesli.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 04:36 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you. You folks are great.

Is muesli a dry cereal or a hot cereal?

Does anyone know if any places sells Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland?

Thanks.
Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 06:13 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 266
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snazzy - here are a few more things you should try while in Oz...

Tim Tam cookies
Weet Bix (cereal, everyone seemed to hate it but everyone seemed to be eating it)
Smiths crisps (potato chips, available in burger flavor!)

Beer:
XXXX (Queensland)
VB (New South Wales)
Hahns (Northern Territory)
Bundaberg Rum

Take a walk through any Coles or Woolworth (Woolies) grocery store. It's interesting to see the different names for the products.

We really enjoyed eating roo & camel (in Alice Springs) but didn't care much for emu or croc. We found the beef to be not as good as in the US but I was raised on Texas beef so it's probably not a fair comparison.

There is a place about 45 minutes north of Cairns where you can get ice cream with flavors you've never heard of before. I can't recall the name of the place - it's a farm where they grow their own fruit - but I'm sure someone else will chime in with the name. Anyway, we had wattleseed (one word or two?) ice cream there and it was delicious.

I second the recommendation on the Red Ochre in Cairns. Excellent, excellent, excellent!

John in Miami
JohnInMiami is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 06:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snazzy - here is a list of foods/drinks etc to try whilst in Oz.
Sydney - try to visit the Sydney Seafood Markets (if you stay in the city, its a short/easy taxi trip there)
Fish: Good eating varieties - Pearl Pearch, Barramundi, red emporer, sweetlip, orange roughy (sometimes called deep sea perch),
Other Seafood: King Prawns or tiger prawns, or banana prawns, balmain bugs or moreton bay bugs, lobster (or crayfish), and last but not least mudcrab.
Beers: Most of the large breweries now distribute their beers right around Australia.
The same goes for wines, just pop into a good bottle shop or wine shop, and ask the proprietor to recommend a good riesling, or semillon, or sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabinet sauvignon, merlot, etc.
tropo is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 06:29 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I forgot to mention a few of my favourite beers -
Eumundi Lager, Cascade Premium, Hahns Premium, Steinlager Premium (NZ beer), Southwark Premium (SA beer), and Boags PRemium.
tropo is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 06:30 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Muesli is a concoction of cereals, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, whatever. One recipe to hand contains rolled oats, rye flakes, chopped dates, ealnuts, almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds and spices. Usually eaten cold with milk. I don't eat the stuff myself, it's a bit too agricultural for me.

Have to part company with John on the beers (although Hahn is OK, as are Tasmania's Cascade and James Boag). IMO the James Squire range of premium beers beats the lot of them hands down. I'm no fan of VB - I think of it as Australia's answer to Bud, although like Bud it's popular.

And of course don't forget the wines.

Most (not all) Australian beef is grass-fed, not grain-fed.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 06:33 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have a question about eating prawns (shrimp). Here in the US they are served with their heads off-- I've read that in Oz they have heads on. What is the etiquette for eating prawns served with the heads on? Just cut them off at the neck? Sorry for this silly question but I've been wondering....
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 07:39 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tim_and_Liz,

Do you mean that the prawn has been left completely unshelled? If so see below. If not, it depends on the cuisine and the dish how they're presented. Generally they're served either completely shelled or with just the tail attached. If the latter, and it's not appropriate to pick them up (e.g. if they're swimming in an Italian cream sauce), I just cut the tail off. If they're served as finger food you'd hold them by their tails.

If you're eating unshelled prawns, boiled or grilled say, you have to rip off their heads, grab a few legs, use them to peel off the shell laterally, then pinch off the tail. If this is a communal pig-in, speed is important if you want to get your fair share.

I haven't run into prawns that have been shelled but still have their heads attached - but then, I've lived a sheltered life.

I think prawns and shrimp are actually different beasts, but an expert might want to correct me on that.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2005, 09:26 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, folks.
Have another question, regarding "Smiths crisps (potato chips, available in burger flavor!)"

Do you also have Dill Pickle flavoured potato chips? Ketchup flavoured? Vinegar flavoured?

The vinegar flavoured are quite popular in some places in Canada and non-existant in other places.

What's in Weet Bix or do I really want to know?

Possum? How does that taste? I see too many dead along the highway to think I want to taste any....

Is the Red Ochre expensive?

Oops, guess I've asked more than "one more question."

Thanks,

Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:21 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snazzy, as a matter of interest, where do you live? When are you coming to Australia and what is your itinerary? This info will help us to help you. Cheers,
Neil
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 05:50 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Neil...

I was always taught that shrimp are from saltwater and prawns from freshwater, but prawns are rarely served in the US (at least where I live) and maybe the naming is different in Oz.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:21 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Neil.
I always try to find foods unique to the region when I travel. Always stressed to my students in U. S. to taste the "real food" when you travel and not just go to the American chains.

After spending two days on a quest to find poutine in Canada several years ago, I am trying to figure out where to find the Aussie foods I want to taste ahead of time since we will only have one week in Australia. Great Barrier Reef, Sidney, Melbourne. A lot to see in so little time.

Thanks. Cheers.
Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:27 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snazzy-
We don't have "dill pickle" flavoured chips here. They seemed to be the "flavour of the month", though,on an American travel site I visited recently.
Since most Aussies actually THROW OUT(in disgust) the pickles found in McDonald's burgers- you can guess it's not a popular flavour down under.
As far as Weetbix is concerned- it's probably one of the healthiest breakfast cereals you can eat. No added sugar or salt. Just toasted wheat in a small biscuit format. To be had with milk (and sugar, or honey if necessary, but better with fresh fruit). Very healthy eating.

I'm one of the few Aussies who don't actually like Vegemite. I actually prefer Promite (which is a British concoction-I believe). Still, you SHOULD try Vegemite.It's an acquired taste, but you should definitely try it- very lightly smeared over buttered toast.

As far as crabs go- the Australian Mud Crab is always noted for its size and flesh- but for taste you can't beat the Queensland Sand Crab, IMO. A FAR better flavour (and usually much cheaper). If I can't get Sand Crabs, I would try for Spanner Crabs. As a last resort, I would ask for Mud Crabs.

To eat fresh Moreton Bay bugs (caught locally in Queensland) is divinity!
Bream is(speaking as a local Victorian) one of our finest table fish. Something you should eat- if you get the chance- in the southern areas of Australia. It tastes wonderful when filletted and lightly grilled (broiled).

I've never eaten emu, but if it is anything like the ostrich I ate in Britain- then go for it! It tasted absolutely fantastic! I was very, very surprised. And impressed.
Several forum members have indicated that you should NEVER try Witchetty Grubs.I've had them in a soup, and I was pleasantly surprised. They tasted a little bit like prawns, but with a muddy flavour. Not unpleasant at all.
Not a flavour I absolutely crave(like Queensland Spanner Crabs!), but quite nice.
I think other posters have answered all your "prawn etiquitte questions".
Incidently, I go by the rule- "Cold prawns- heads on", " Hot prawns- heads off". Works for me.
Possum
Possum is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 06:44 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Possom.
Actually the pawn ettiquette question was from someone else. (I'm used to scarfing down food in fifteen minutes during a very short lunch break. My lack of ettiquette will probably embarass me royally on this trip.)

Speaking of hamburgers, where is the best place to buy an Aussie hamburger with egg on the top in Melbourne or Sidney?

Cheers.
Snazzy is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2005, 07:20 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Possum-
One more "prawn etiquette" question...
Do you serve cold prawns with the heads on, or eat them with the heads on? I assume the former??

Either way, I may be ordering only hot prawns while in Oz.
Thanks for your thoughts--Liz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information