If you’re traveling around Australia, I’m sure that you will come across some weird Australian foods. While you’re here you really should try some of it! These unique culinary surprises mean you quickly learn to go with the flow and expect the unexpected. There are quite a few foods you eat and ways of eating things that are at odds with what the rest of the world finds palatable and I’m talking about more than just Vegemite. Here are some the weirdest foods in Australia to eat that the rest of the world just doesn’t understand:
Top 10 Weird Food in Australia
1. Kangaroo Meat
Can you believe that kangaroo has its own section in the supermarket! You will find kangaroo meat, sausages, and burgers that you can cook like beef. High in protein and low in fat, this unique Australian food has a strong gamey flavor of its own and tastes better when not overcooked. Kangaroo tail soup is well known and consists of kangaroo tail, carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and seasonings. For many people growing up in the 1950s, it was a family dish. Kangaroo is often found in regular restaurant menus across the country, not just the specialty restaurants. Some people may not see this as strange meat to eat because so many places in the world eat local animals. You could only find kangaroo meat in Australia or Papua New Guinea up until 2010 when Australia then started exporting the meat to other countries.
The Lamington or ‘Lammo’ is the ultimate Aussie food! Strangely rolled into the chocolate topping are coconut bits which give it a furry appearance, beneath which is a soft sponge cake which is light and fluffy to bite into! Lamintons can also be found covered in raspberry or strawberry sauce to give a pink appearance, with a thin layer of jam or cream in the middle of the two halves. Almost every bakery or supermarket sells these weird foods in Australia, and you can find them offered as an essential mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Yet you still must watch out for the desiccated coconut on your lips and the chocolate or raspberry sauce sticking to your teeth!
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3. Moreton Bay Bug
Moreton Bay Bugs and Balmain bugs look like insects, but they are really crustaceans. Balmain Bugs also have a wider body that makes them different from Moreton Bay Bugs. They look a little like crayfish in terms of size. Unlike any other crustaceans, the meat of the Moreton Bay Bug can only be found in their tail; so only 30% of their total mass can be eaten. Translucent when raw, this bizzare food in Australia is a white meat that is known for its firm texture. Their brown hard external shell changes to red-orange when cooked just as lobster or crayfish. More widely known as the Moreton Bay Bug after Moreton Bay near Brisbane Queensland; they can also be found at the Queensland/ New South Wales border, south to Western Australia and Tasmania. To prepare for cooking they are often cut in half, drizzled with butter or oil, seasoned with salt and pepper then cooked on the barbeque in their shell. They can also be poached, steamed, or grilled. Their flesh tastes like rock lobsters and has a medium to strong flavor.
4. Witchetty Grub
Cold and slippery when raw, with the head is bitten off, the bottom portion of the grub is simply chewed until only the skin remains, which is discarded. Eaten raw these unusual foods in Australia tastes like almonds but when lightly cooked the skin goes crispy like roast chicken. Strangely the insides taste and look like scrambled eggs. You never know, if you do pluck up the courage to try one, you may get a taste for it, and even have a second! The Witchetty grub is known as bush tucker and is a delicacy of the Aboriginals in the Australian outback. They harvest them below the root system of a Witchetty tree. Once they locate the burrow hole, the root can be split into two to reveal the Witchetty grub.
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Made by travelers, native aborigines, stockmen, road workers, and swagmen in days gone by, it was known as a filling cheap food. The Damper is a traditional Australian bread, made as a paste with only wheat flour, water, and a pinch of salt. It is then baked in the ashes of a campfire. It was improved by adding milk, butter, grains, or anything which gave it a taste, apart from chewing the coal. Today these weird foods from Australia can be found as traditional Australian fare made with milk, self-raising flour, salt, butter then a variety of extras like mixed spice, sultanas, dates, currants, mixed peel as well as yogurt, sugar, eggs, and even beer. A baking tray lined with baking paper means it can also sit on a trivet in the camp oven to avoid eating nasties.
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Once you overcome the smell and look of this brown slurry paste, you either become addicted or never want to taste it ever again! This sticky brown paste with a concentrated, salty flavor is usually spread on buttered toast in the morning or eaten with crackers and cheese. Made from yeast extract, it is a by-product of brewing beer and is basically the slurry from the bottom of the barrel that most breweries throw away! This weird food combination Australia is a saltier and more bitter version of Marmite. It is flavored with various vegetables and spices which gives it that unique flavor. Vegemite with cheese is popular too, topped with avocado, lettuce, or tomato. The vegemite and peanut butter combo are a calorie-loaded favorite too.
7. Fairy Bread
Confusing to the rest of the world; Fairy Bread is an invention that is the pride of Australians. This weird Australian food combination is a rainbow-colored sugar sandwich adorns children’s birthday party tables and is Australia’s national party food. Adults who have not outgrown their iconic treat from the past, swallow their pride, and ignore healthy food habits, to grab a fairy bread and remind themselves of their youth. This pretty, brightly colored, open sugar sandwich is just hundreds-and-thousands, known as ‘sprinkles’ to some, on white buttered bread. Aussies are seriously shocked when they find out that the joy of fairy bread is not enjoyed throughout the world. There is even a World Fairy Bread day in November which invites you to honor the Australian Icon.
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8. Meat Pies in Pea Soup
The classic Aussie Meat Pie is a national treasure and almost every bakery and supermarket as well as the servo (service station) will have an amply stocked pie oven. But soaking a meat pie in pea soup goes to another level! Pie Carts were invented by James Gibs in the 1880s, who had emigrated to Adelaide from Scotland. This strange food in Australia quickly became a late-night comfort food uniting truckies, cabbies, drinkers, and workers alike. As an alternative to the solo meat pie, the pie carts also sold the ‘Floater’ a meat pie was served in thick pea soup. You could find the meat pie either, sitting in or submerged, the right side up or upside down, and with tomato sauce as the finishing touch.
9. Emu Meat
Unconventional meat found in the land Down Under, the Emu is Australia’s largest endemic bird and is now farmed for its meat oil and leather. This weird food to try in Australia is eaten for thousands of years, Aboriginals traditionally hunted Emus for their meat and oil, which was thought to have medicinal properties. Emu meat is it is virtually fat-free and low in cholesterol. High in protein, iron, and vitamin C, Emu meat is tender with a similar taste to chicken. It can be grilled or fried and is often eaten slightly rare. Good for pizza toppings it also works well when smoked and served cold. But beware just as Chicken Salt is used to flavor chips there are Emu flavored chips around!
10. Tim Tams
You haven’t lived if you have not tried a Tim Tam! Once tried, this distinctive chocolate biscuit makes you want to go for your second and third! This weird Australian food consists of a layer of chocolate cream sandwiched between chocolate malt biscuits, all coated in chocolate. Tim Tams are a cross between a Penguin biscuit and a Club Milk. Aussies say the best way to eat them is by doing the ‘Tim Tam Slam’- a soft and sticky chocolatey experience, you won’t forget. This involves biting the diagonal corner off then taking a cup of coffee, tea, or even more indulgently hot chocolate and using the Tim Tam as a straw to suck the drink through the biscuit. This needs to be done quickly before it gets too mushy and falls into your drink.
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