Australian Food, Sweets and Spreads

Half the fun of traveling can be trying new foods… depending on the location. I can’t say I jump at the chance to eat fried guinea pig in Peru or fried brain in Serbia. In Australia, the craziest thing I have tried so far is Kangaroo. It was weird… and did not taste like chicken. That aside, I am not a huge foodie but I do like my sweets.

Here are just a few common Australian food, sweets and spreads I have tried on my travels…


 

SconesScone: Australians say scone… Americans say biscuit. Australians eat these things for dessert… while Americans eat them for breakfast. Either way… they are far from healthy.

So how do Australians eat scones (biscuits)? They cut them in half then put a layer of jam on each piece followed by a layer of whipped cream. Sounds pretty weird if you’ve never tried them that way but it’s actually pretty good!

For our Australian readers…how do Americans eat scones (biscuits)? We make a breakfast sandwich out of them! We’d cut it in half then throw on any combination of cheese, egg, sausage, bacon or ham… if you live in the south you could even eat them with gravy…

I’d say we beat the Aussies in making them more fattening.


 

VegemiteVegemite: Holy hell-can it be disgusting. Let me give you a little heads up so you avoid the mistake most people make when trying it for the first time… It is NOT peanut butter, jam or butter.

The more you throw on your toast, it will not-I repeat-it WILL NOT taste better.

Less is more with this evil salty spread unless you want your face to turn inside out. If you avoid the mistake of slathering it on-it’s really not all that bad but I’d still say it’s an acquired taste. You either grow up with it and love it or you wonder what the heck is wrong with some people’s taste buds.

Still interested in trying Vegemite? When the Captain made toast for me he threw some margarine on first then a THIN layer of vegemite on top.

Key word-thin.

I have just learned there is something called a cheesymite scroll, that is a spiraled baked bread with vegemite and cheese.

I have never had it-but now that I know it exists I may have to try it on the next trip!


 

Meat Pie: Yep. It sounds gross doesn’t it? Apple pie, yum. Pumpkin pie, yum. MEAT pie? Let’s say I was more than skeptical on this one.

So what is it?

You’ll find them mainly in cafes and bakeries; they are a great takeaway (takeout) option if you’re on the go. Meat pies are hand-sized and are filled with all sorts of good stuff, usually minced meat and gravy but there are many filling combinations. Once you get past the name-they are pretty damn good! Warm, flaky, meaty, gravy filled pies… yum.

A common condiment paired with meat pies is ketchup… but if you ask for ketchup you’ll be looked at funny. Ask for tomato sauce and you’ll avoid sounding like a tourist… minus the accent of course.


 

BeetRootBeetroot: I’m not sure I’ll ever understand the beetroot obsession. I can’t say I had ever tried it before visiting Australia either. Australians will throw it on burgers, salads and sandwiches… Usually when I find it in my burger or sandwich, I’ll get a few bites in then find myself picking it out of my sandwich. I don’t hate it… it’s just strange, not sure how else to describe it.

The added bonus… it can stain your clothes and fingers purple. Sexy stuff.


 

LamingtonLamington: These things are weird but the Captain has told me they are a pretty standard Australian dessert, one that makes an expected appearance at most holidays or get togethers. He bought them on my last trip and he insisted that we freeze them-he swears they taste better that way.

So what the heck are they? They are little square, two layer cakes made from what I think is sponge cake. Between the two layers was a layer of jam and the entire outside was covered in a very thin layer of chocolate sprinkled with coconut. He did tell me that some have a layer of cream in the center rather than jam.

They were pretty good but they weren’t my favorite. For a sweet tooth… I would have been happier if there was a thicker layer of chocolate!


 

MaltesersMaltesers: I must confess. I am a Malteser monster.

Although I have heard you can find them in Canada and parts of the U.S. they are not easy to find. In Australia they are about as common as Reeses Peanut Buttercup are in the U.S. They are every where.

Maltesers are made by Mars, Incorporated and are small, round, bite sized chocolates that have a center made of malt honeycomb. Love them.

For those who are thinking it… They are NOT Whoppers. Whoppers are disgusting… Maltesers not so much. If you are lucky enough to find them in the U.S.-grab ‘em!


 

tim-tamsTim Tam: I am a fan of Tim Tams. The Captain tries to stay away from sweets but this is one of the first he wanted me to try. They are a biscuit (or cookie as we’d say) and they are made up of two chocolate biscuits, separated by a layer of chocolate filling and coated with chocolate.

 

They are very common and easy to find. Tim Tams can be found in several different flavors too. I’ve seen white chocolate, dark, caramel, orange, original… My favorite is the chocolate/orange combo.


 

caramel Slice 2Caramel Slice: Evil layers of yum. I was first introduced to these in Townsville, Australia by the Captain. They are hands down my favorite.

If you have a sweet tooth, these things will destroy it. Layer of soft chocolate, caramel and a shortbread base. Sometimes the base will have coconut in it… which just makes it that much more evil.

These are not the type of dessert you could sit and eat several of in one sitting-they are heavy. I have made them several times at home now and have introduced my family to them in the states… they curse me every time I bring them to a family holiday but the plate always comes home empty!

And we all leave 10 pounds heavier.

Interested in making them? The recipe I use can be found here on Taste.com.au. There are a couple of things I do different though since some of ingredients are hard to find in the states.

If you are unable to find golden syrup you can use honey (although it will change the taste slightly).

For the top chocolate layer, copha might not be so easy to find in the U.S. so I substituted it with a recipe I use to make the center of my truffles. I’ll take a half cup of heavy cream and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, bringing it just to the point of boiling I then remove it from the heat. Then I add a cup of chocolate chips, mixing until it is melted. Once it is melted, I pour it on top of the other two layers then place it in the fridge to harden.

These things are so worth the effort. If you give them a go, let me know how they turned out!

If you have any suggestions on other Aussie foods I should try, let me know in the comments below. I will be adding new foods as I try them, so keep looking back for updates!

Kris Williams
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24 Comments

  • Gregg Reed February 15, 2016 at 9:48 pm Reply

    Kris

    Everything look good but I know for sure the first ones for biscuits and gravy is the only way to eat them great story Kris I appreciate The fact that you show us that

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams February 16, 2016 at 1:03 am Reply

      Hey Gregg!

      We dont really do biscuits with gravy in the North East, I’ve always eaten them as part of a breakfast sandwich. The jam and whipped cream seems weird-but its actually pretty good! Turns it into a dessert! 🙂

      • Matt February 20, 2016 at 3:39 am Reply

        Jam and scones actually originated in England i believe. They have it with tea. (The hot drink, Not we Aussies tend to call dinner)

  • Joe Tourville February 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm Reply

    Kris ,one of the biggest problems I have is a big time sweet tooth . My favorite is anything chocolate , but right now I’m Trying to avoid all sweets, been successful so far, just wanted to say it’s quite interesting to be able to see what the Australians eat . The best way I like my biscuits is with gravy on them the worse way to eat Em , but I think I’ll try them with jam and whipped cream I bet they are Good that way. Everything you have shown sure looks good. except vegemite I have never had any, I don’t think I have ever heard of it before . Thanks for sharing Kris Good stuff! !!!

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams February 16, 2016 at 1:05 am Reply

      Hey Joe!

      lol vegemite is pretty weird… if done right-its not horrible. The big mistake is slathering it on… you’d never touch it again after making that mistake once! 🙂

      • Matt February 20, 2016 at 3:40 am Reply

        I believe Vagiemite is illegal in parts of America if not all of it. Which is strange being its owned by an American company

  • Bill VanNest February 16, 2016 at 12:20 am Reply

    All of those sound pretty good, I think 🙂
    Guess, Like you said it would be an acquired taste.
    I’d be willing to give them a try at least once..lol

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams February 16, 2016 at 1:05 am Reply

      Hey Bill!

      They are all worth giving a try! Even the vegemite 🙂

  • Heather February 17, 2016 at 7:11 pm Reply

    British hubby loves those maltesers! We are lucky enough to have a british/scottish store locally here in MA (the Berkshires). Have heard of a few of those things!! Haven’t dared to try some of then yet! 🙂

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams February 17, 2016 at 8:43 pm Reply

      I am jealous!!! Im out that way every now and then-will have to swing through and stock up!! 🙂

      • Heather February 24, 2016 at 2:34 am Reply

        Kris I’ve seen a few posts about your Berkshire travels so knew it would be helpful if your in a maltesers mood, they actually sell them at one of our local grocery stores as well my hubby reminded me! There’s one near Porches! Yes, I’ve read a few of your posts!

        • Heather February 24, 2016 at 2:39 am Reply

          Ps hubby agrees whoppers nothing even close to these amazing things!!

  • Matt February 20, 2016 at 3:41 am Reply

    Have you tried Crocodile yet?

  • Colin February 29, 2016 at 12:24 am Reply

    You need to try doing a Tim Tam slam. Bite off the ends (or corners) of the TT, dunk it in a coffee and suck it through like a straw. The TT becomes melted chocolatey goodness! Only problem is you end up having half the pack of TT’s with one coffee!

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams March 10, 2016 at 2:29 am Reply

      But but… I dont like coffee… will hot chocolate work?!

      • Colin March 10, 2016 at 4:14 am Reply

        Any hot beverage will do!

  • Dash March 10, 2016 at 1:54 am Reply

    I grew up in the south, so I love biscuits and gravy. It’s so good. Especially if the gravy has bits of sausage in it.

    I have a serious Tim Tam addiction. I discovered them about 10 years back in World Market. I especially love the white chocolate ones. Most of the time I order those online, as World Market usually only carries the original and caramel flavors. BUT! From October to March, Pepperidge Farms sells Tim Tams, which is good, as not everywhere has World Markets. They’re only available at Target, though.

    There’s a new movie theater that was just built near where I live, and they have Maltesers. They are definitely better than Whoppers.

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams March 10, 2016 at 2:24 am Reply

      A million times better than Whoppers! 🙂 Tim Tam are good! Evil lil things!

  • Andrew June 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm Reply

    The piece about Vegemite was legit funny. You’re one of the very, very few Americans who can actually bring themselves to endorsing it (if you can call it that!).
    Note to Americans; we’re completely overrun with American foods so fear not, you don’t have to subject yourselves to our superior Australian foods every day. 😛
    Mind you though, my utter joy at finding Aussie Pie shops in the US has alleviated my pain at missing this tasty meaty treat on my visits to the US; the Outback Steakhouse just doesn’t cut it with genuine Aussie tucker for the travelling Aussie. 😉

    • Kris Williams
      Kris Williams June 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm Reply

      LOL not sure I’m an endorser… Just trying to save other Americans from making the mistake of slathering it on whatever they are eating. Holy gross! lol It’s not that bad when done right though… too funny on the pies! My guy is in the US with me now – hes passed out cold at the moment trying to bounce back from jetlag, lol. It’s noon here! 🙂

      • Andrew June 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply

        Oh I’ve seen people do exactly that; unloading a thick slab of vege goo thinking it’s like peanut butter. Hilarity at the end result. 😀
        Aw the poor bloke, I feel his pain (through closed eyelids). Needless to say he takes a stash of Aussie treats with him? (and subject your folks the horror of tasting them).
        I’m surprised you didn’t mention Milo. I’m constantly receiving demands to bring a big tin with me. 😉

  • Steven Kee June 27, 2016 at 5:31 am Reply

    Maltesers – they are also available in Sunny Singapore if you happen to drop by to visit. It’s about 7-8 hours flight from Sydney Australia.

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