Travel With Your Taste Buds: Australia

Australians are known for having a sweet tooth, because their dishes most well-known to us are desserts. They also like to have they own versions of iconic dishes from around the world whilst home-grown recipes tend to have a funny or interesting story behind their existence.

1. Pavlova

(Wikipedia Link)(Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org)

This yummy treat got its name from Anna Pavlova, a ballerina from the 1920s. A pavlova is like a giant meringue topped with cream and different types of fruit. What makes it slightly different from the meringue is that the egg whites are beaten until stiff before cornflour is added. This gives the luscious treat a crisp outer shell with a soft center – similar to a fluffy marshmallow. Yum!

2. Anzac Biscuit

(Wikipedia Link)(Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org)

Some of you may know that these "Soldiers' Biscuits" came about because of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. Anzac Day originally commemorated Aussie and Kiwi troops who fought in Gallipoli in World War I. Since eggs were scarce in wartime, biscuits were made with an egg-less recipe – this also meant they would not spoil when being shipped to the troops after being baked by their wives back home. Although traditionally made as a hard, flat biscuit to dunk in tea, today a mixture of coconut, golden syrup and sugar makes these mighty biscuits deliciously sweet and crunchy.

3. Lamington

(Wikipedia Link)(Picture Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org)

Lamingtons are as Australian as chucking meat on the barbie. Legend goes that these coco-cocoa delights were created by accident by Lord Lamington's chef when he accidentally dropped his sponge cake into melted chocolate. Dessicated coconut was apparently added in later years to make such a cake more appealing. Lamingtons are quintessentially Aussie and loved by young and old Oceania-wide.

4. Dim Sim

(Wikipedia Link)(Picture Courtesy: bytesdaily.blogspot.com)

This is Australia's take on dim sum, developed by a Chinese chef in Melbourne in the 1940s. Dimmies (as they're known in Oz) are deep fried or steamed meat dumpling snacks which are much larger than dim sum and with a thicker skin. Fish and chip shops sell them as snacks that are usually drowned with soy sauce before being happily devoured.

5. Damper

(Wikipedia Link)(Picture Courtesy: taste.com.au)

Damper is a traditional Aussie bread that owes its name to the act of damping down a fire to lower the heat when cooking it. It's baked in the hot coals of a camp fire, usually by drovers, bushmen and travelers, but today you can even find this bread in supermarket aisles where it can be bought and enjoyed with lashings of Vegemite or homemade jam!

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