Exploring World Cultures with the Olivers - Australia

Donning traditional Australian beach garb is Bobby Oliver. (Facebook photo)

We are pleased to feature an ongoing segment based on the Oliver family’s weekly efforts to learn about different cultures and their cuisine. Each family member has selected a culture, and, going in order of oldest to youngest, Sherri researches the selected culture’s customs and foods for the family to share in. At our request, she has agreed to share their project with our readers. Australia is the second culture that we will be exploring.

Our Australian meal consisted of a potato bake, carrots (the most popular vegetable in Australia), lemon pavlova (basically a highly sweetened egg-white meringue), meat pie, fairy bread (a children’s party food consisting of white bread with just enough butter to hold “hundreds and thousands”, which is what they call sprinkles) and sausage rolls.

Sausage rolls are the “convenience food” of Australia. Just like we get hotdogs at a gas station, Australians get sausage rolls. They are a basic sausage meatloaf cooked in puff pastry.

The meat pie seems to be the most popular meal, according to my research. It’s a pie made from ground beef and onions and seasoned with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, oregano, and nutmeg.

Potatoes are the second most popular vegetable. I chose a hearty potato bake made from potatoes, cheese and onions and a cream sauce seasoned with a little mustard. It was delicious!

Traditional cultural dress is separated in two groups: beach and bush, based on whether you live on the coast or inland. Bobby, who chose the culture, wore beachwear consisting of light cotton materials, and a “straw” hat made from the leaves of a cabbage plant. Bush dress would be heavy denim, khaki and leathers, just like Steve Irwin wore.

The Olivers gathered together to learn about and experience traditional contemporary Australian cuisine. (Facebook photo)