Saturday, 30 August 2008

The Australian Omnivore's List

In a follow up to the Omnivore's list, the author has made a statement about his reasons. My friend Alex has also contacted me to let me know that I have actually eaten kaolin- it's a smoothing ingredient used in several food products, including Haigh's chocolates. Mmmm, clay... I'm not totally averse to the idea - if you're going to eat any kind of dirt, surely it must be the finest, whitest, purest clay! Actually it's technically a mineral, like salt but more complex. Whatever.

I was also inspired by the Omnivore's Hundred, and I'm making up an Australian list. Here's my first hack at it - I invite comments and suggestions. (Fiona: this is your cue!) I've tried for a mix of native produce, classics from the early European settlers, and the most iconic junk foods. I've deliberately left off the major contributions from more recent immigrants; an expanded list would have to have laksa and pho and kebabs and many more good things.

1 Macadamia Nuts
2 Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey
3 Single species eucalyptus honey
4 Rosella flower champagne cocktail
5 Lillipilli/Riberry fruit
6 Quandongs
7 Bush tomatoes/Akudjura
8 Warrigal greens
9 Midyim berries
10 Bunya nut bread or dumplings
11 Wattleseed
12 Lemon myrtle
13 Tasmanian pepper berry
14 Murray River pink salt
15 Kangaroo
16 Emu
17 Wild Barramundi
18 Crocodile
19 Possum
20 Goanna
21 Witjuti Grub (Widjuti/Witchetty)
22 Bogong moth
23 Sugar ants
24 Meat pie
24 Pie floater
26 Lamington
27 Pavlova (shut up, NZers)
28 Damper with golden syrup
29 Vegemite sandwich
30 Anzac biscuit
31 Roast leg of lamb
32 BBQ steak (as in cooked on a BBQ grill, not American BBQ)
33 Fundraising sausage sizzle whitebread sanger
34 Australian grown coffee
35 Bundy Rum
36 Coopers ale
37 Mass market lager, such as Tooheys, VB, XXXX or Swan
38 Passiona
39 Bundaberg ginger beer
40 Grange hermitage
41 Tim tam
42 Violet crumble
43 Fairy bread
44 Lemon delicious pudding
45 Australian grown tea
46 Vanilla slice
47 Frog cake
48 Musk stick
49 Pumpkin scone
50 Pink iced finger bun

Take a point off for a shrimp on the barbie. (Prawns are OK, though.)
Take five points off for a bloomin' onion from Outback Steakhouse. Bizarrely, this American chain has recently opened some franchises in Australia, so you can enjoy your American style pseudo-Australian food without even leaving the country!

I score 44/50 on my current list. No Grange, no pie floater, no insects, no goanna. When I ate possum it was actually imported from New Zealand, so no protected species were killed to make my list! I'm already thinking I've missed important stuff - my first afterthought was Sydney rock oysters. And maybe Tasmanian whisky. If enough feedback or afterthoughts come my way, I'll do a revision.


Lizzi said...

i think neenish tarts belong on that list :)

kazari said...

Yay for lemon delicious pudding and musk sticks!
I think you need to add redskins, freddo frogs and Australian sweet curry... you know, the sort your mum used to make with keens curry powder, chopped apple and sultanas.

Anonymous said...


snerd said...

Vanilla slice?

Cath said...

Why not vanilla slice? Or did you miss seeing it? Good suggestions so far, though.

Oh, and I have bought the best book from the National Library, on our food history. That should add some more inspiration for version 1.0.1 or whatever it turns into.

Chuck said...

You need camel on there.