Foodie in Aussieland…an Ode to Vegemite!

Today is our final day in preparation for our Final presentation to city of Ballarat, and while we all are heads down focused on Waste Management recommendations, decisions assessment framework and Digital waste Strategy. While there is a lot going on, I would like this post to be about Food! One of the joys of traveling is trying out different kinds of food a country has to offer, and foods represent rich culture, history but also the gastronomy of the region. Australia like many countries also has a rich smorgasbord of foods to choose from. History and some by the immigrants who call Australia home influence some foods. I have had a good fortune to try some good food here, ranging fro the Australian classics such as:

  1. Lamingtons – This square-shaped sponge cake is coated in a layer of chocolate icing and desiccated coconut.
  2. Fish n’ chips – yes they are not French fries as they call in US, they are simply called Chips
  3. Pavlova – meringue-based dessert that has a crisp crust and a soft, light inside. It’s often decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit. For a guy with no sweet cravings, this was simply delicious.
  4. Tim-Tam – name may sound like a café (I am obviously taking a stab at Tim Horton’s – Canadian Coffee chain) but these are local favorite. much-loved chocolate biscuit is made up of two layers of chocolate-malted biscuit, separated by a light chocolate filling and coated in melted chocolate
  5. Meat Pies – You can’t tell anyone you’re Australian unless you’ve eaten a meat pie. The flaky package that contains simple pleasure is the epitome of Australian food. I have realized that every country has a version of meat pie – some call it Samosa (India), is US we call is Turnovers or pies and Empanada is a vernacular used in South America. No matter the form factor it is worlds favorite snack.
  6. Dumplings — there are many varieties, and  you can try them steamed or fried..or both…
  7. And more..

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These are to name a new, and while I tried them all, there is one thing that is quintessentially Australian and a breakfast staple – and that is – Vegemite. It has been close to a month in Australia and there has not been a day where I did not start with Vegemite on toast, eggs or event used it as a secret flavoring agents in curries on few occasions that I got to cook in Australia. Vegemite is as Australian food as it gets. Vegemite is deceptive, to some it looks like a yummy chocolate spread only to surprise with a savory taste on first bite, to others it is a weird dark brown paste that has a immense health benefits as it is rich in Vitamin B and other minerals. This simply amazing dark brown paste that we so dearly call “Vegemite” comes from leftover brewers yeast extract, with some spice additives. Vegemite is a like a universal spread that finds it way on toast, crackers, sandwiches and anything savory you can think of. Vegemite is not just a dark brown spread, there have been several legal battles to stake a claim on this breakfast staple history, origin and brand.

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I’d like to end this post with marketing campaign of J Walter Thompson’s marketing jingle – Happy Little Vegemite:

We’re happy little Vegemites

As bright as bright can be.

We all enjoy our Vegemite

For breakfast, lunch, and tea.

Our mummies say we’re growing stronger

Every single week,

Because we love our Vegemite

We all adore our Vegemite

It puts a rose in every cheek.

 

Have a great week ahead!

 

Links:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite
  2. http://travel.cnn.com/sydney/eat/40-foods-australians-call-their-own-651613

 

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