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Top 10 Foods Only Australia Could Have Invented

Posted by on January 25 2011 in Bacon, Eggs, Featured, Food Travel, Lists, Pig, Red Meat

5. Boston Bun

Boston Bun

Australia gets bonus points for trying to blame this monstrosity on us by using the surreptitious name Boston Bun. I’ve been to Massachusetts many times and have never seen a spiced potato bun covered in heaps of thick-thick coconut icing. But in Australia, these mysteriously named treats pair perfectly with a cup of tea. (Photo: Wikipedia)

4. Pavlova

pavlova

Another one they tried to blame on someone else by using a tricky name, this dessert was created in honor of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia in the 1930s. While there are now hundreds of different “pav” recipes found throughout the country, the basic idea is that it’s a crispy meringue shell, but when you break into it the inside is gooey like marshmallow fluff. Any type of fruit can be placed on top, and the finished Pavlova can be anything from an intricate, elegant creation to the hot mess you see above. (Photo: Wikipedia)

3. Dagwood Dog

dagwood dog

It’s starting to become more and more apparent that the Australians are nothing less than America’s foodie soul mates. At their summer festivals (basically state fairs), you’ll always see Dagwood Dogs (sometimes called Pluto Pups) — deep-fried frankfurters encased in crispy dough. While they’re pretty much the same as our corn dogs, they have the added distinction of coming pre-dipped in ketchup for easy walking and eating. I’m starting to notice a trend here — do Australians love ketchup even more than Americans? (Photo — and excellent round-up of Aussie festival food — fig & cherry)

2. Vegemite

vegemite

There’s no way we could celebrate Australian cuisine without mentioning this much maligned foodstuff. The notorious spread — popular enough down under that it’s distributed by Kraft — is actually made from yeast extract, a byproduct of beer brewing. The deep, bitter character of this widely-eaten toast topping is often described diplomatically as “an acquired taste.”

1. Pie Floater

pie floater

Of all the Australian foods I came across in researching this piece, the Pie Floater is by far the most mind-blowing. Let’s go back to those meat pies mentioned above, only this time we’re going to take one of them, flip it over, and submerge it in a thick green bowl of pea soup. Wow. By now you should know that this glorious mush of a meal could only be improved by a coating of ketchup on top. Bravo, Australia. Bravo. (Photo: amandaabhslater)

So there you go. What do you think, ES readers? Are Australia’s fatty foodstuffs even more impressive than America’s? Which of these dishes would you most like to try? Australian readers, please understand that while we do make fun, we really are in awe of all your inventions.  Do holler back in the comments if there are any great Australian dishes we left out. And yes, New Zealand, we know you claim to have invented every one of these foods on your own. You Kiwis are cuter than Canadians.

Next: #10 – 6 Foods Only Australia Could Have Invented

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40 Responses leave one →
  1. Christie @ Fig & Cherry permalink
    January 25, 2011

    Great list and hilarious commentary. It’s very interesting to hear an outside perspective. Thanks for the link to my blog, glad to have supplied the Dagwood dog pic. By the way, burger rings are quite tasty! I will send you a packet if you send me your address :)

  2. ajjelibean permalink
    January 25, 2011

    I’d eat the pie float if the red stuff was Sriracha instead of ketchup :D

  3. Sweet Fiend permalink*
    January 26, 2011

    Vegmite-”diplomatically” described is right. I would rather take a mouthful of the intriguing burger rings instead.

  4. January 26, 2011

    Yeah mates! Got to get to the land downunder!

  5. Weizguy permalink
    January 27, 2011

    Nice article, but once again, we see Australia getting credit for New Zealand’s work.

    Exhibit A – The Pavlova
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlova_(food)

    Boston Buns, Potato cakes (fritters) and Bacon and Egg Pie are also subject to dispute about origins.

  6. westcoast permalink
    January 27, 2011

    pavlovas are fan*freakin*tastic. We made one not long ago and it was scrum*diddly*dum*diddly*delicious. It’s warm on the west coast today. Be jealous.

  7. January 28, 2011

    The Bacon n Egg pie is actually Georgian-Armenian… very very delicious!

  8. Thresher permalink
    January 28, 2011

    I second westcoast’s love of the pavlova. Albeit in humane portions. There are even vegan versions that pop up at reputable bakeries in Los Angeles from time to time.

    As for vegemite, I love the stuff in small portions, so thank you, Australia. It makes a great soup base if you use just the tiniest dab and dilute the hell out of it. A great way to put some non-meat umami in your mouth. If it’s too much for you, try good old nutritional yeast (which you can dissolve in water and reduce to your heart’s content).

  9. dsdfhjk permalink
    January 29, 2011

    I never did understand why the American never took to the savoury pie – give me steak or mince over pumpkin or blueberry any day of the week.

  10. Alison Murray permalink
    February 24, 2011

    You forgot the deep fried Kabana!! My favourite, but the Chiko roll is a close 2nd. The Chiko has a much thicker wrapping than anything resembling Chinese Spring Rolls and is deep fried of course. We also love pizzas with pineapple on them and call them “Hawaiian”.
    And yes the Kiwis try to claim all our foods, actors, singers…

  11. Aussie EMD permalink
    March 9, 2011

    So now all I need to do is feed Burger Rings to all lady friends and sit back and wait for my male friends to thank me?

    Some clarifications – “Potato Cakes” are more commonly (east coast anyway) referred to as “Potato Scallops”. Sauce that stuff up and you’re laughing.

    Secondly, whilst the first nine are eaten regularly here, a meat-pie floater is an uncommon occurance, generally the result of heavy drinking and the encouragement of friends who secretly hate you. I have eaten it once. It was more unpleasant than you can imagine.

    Finally, some advice. Vegemite helps create perhaps the most flavoursome chicken skin you can get. Whisk some up and smear it all over that bird, then bake her up and you’ll be thanking me for years.

    Also, import yourselves some Tasty Toobs, made by Smiths/PepsiCo. Never has having the roof of your mouth destroyed been so tasty!

  12. Bron permalink
    May 24, 2011

    As an Aussie, I have eaten Burger Rings many times, and I think whoever made the comparison to semen either has a very active imagination or has been tasting some very odd semen. I am gonna buy a pack soon though now that I have that comparison in mind…

    Got to agree with Aussie EMD though – you should skip the Burger Rings and go straight for the Toobs. No Australian childhood could be complete without them.

    Best way to enjoy the pie and peas thing is just to put some mushy peas (not soup!) on top of a pie, rather than submerging the whole thing, although both can be good. If you’re ever in Sydney, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels is an institution and I promise, as unlikely as it sounds, you would love it. (Being very drunk also helps.)

  13. Remy permalink
    August 1, 2011

    Can’t forget the great sausage roll!

  14. Aussie permalink
    August 1, 2011

    Another favourite is the Aussie pizza comprising of bacon and egg toppings

  15. rachel permalink
    October 29, 2011

    Pavlova was invented by NZ…

  16. Vanessa permalink
    November 6, 2011

    The World Health Organization (WHO) actually has released the top 10 fattest countries: http://www.expatify.com/news/the-worlds-top-10-fattest-countries.html and Australia is NOT on that list. I trust the WHO before I trust the UN… Here’s another link: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity this one Australia is 6th. I don’t know where this person found their list… I found a list from 2008 but we obviously learnt from that (or a lot of American’s just happened to be living in Australia at the time of the test :P )

  17. martine permalink
    December 11, 2011

    im so sick of kiwis trying to stake claim on the pavlova…it is australian…unlike russel crowe now there is one kiwi that i wish would stop saying hes an aussie

  18. NEUK food permalink
    May 22, 2012

    I feel the rather scary need to point out the ‘potato cake’ has been around the North of the UK for years as the fish cake. Either battered (much preferred) with some lovely looking generic white fish ™ over the mashed potato, or, as served in schools 30 years ago, with some grey looking fish in breadcrumbs.

    I have to say that the former of these is quite the treat if you’re unable to accept chips (fries) and fish being separate.

  19. kayla permalink
    July 28, 2012

    Pffts! Burger rings are amazing, if you like bacon and cheese balls youll love burger rings.

  20. August 14, 2012

    Haha, love a good pie floater!

  21. Mikki Hume permalink
    October 20, 2012

    I can’t believe no-one has mentioned chicken twisties and lamingtons.
    I made lamingtons for my USA co-workers plus my kids classes on Australia day. Since then the teachers and co-workers have been begging me to make them again. One of them referred to them as twinkie like things smothered in Chocolate and coconut.
    One thing I miss the most too, from Aus, is the bakers delight cheesymite scroll.

  22. November 5, 2012

    great list, it made me miss home minus the chicco rolls. funny you did not include the famous and ever present on every pub menu ‘chicken parmigiana’. this is not an Italian dish. Italians make eggplant parmigiana which somehow evolved into chicken parmigiana – crumbed chicken breast (often deep fried) covered in napoli sauce and cheese (mozzarella or similar) and then grilled so that the cheese is melted and golden. serves are always huge and masses of chips are the accompaniment. great but you need to be hungry.

  23. Silver permalink
    November 17, 2012

    I have never in my life eaten or seen a pie floater or dagward dog.
    Where did you find this?
    Love potato cakes mmm

  24. Idiots permalink
    January 9, 2013

    The average weight of an adult human is 137 pounds (62 kg) according to a league table of the world’s ‘fattest’ nations from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Find out how you compare to other adults using our interactive graphic.

    The pacific island nations of Micronesia and Tonga are at the top of the league table, followed closely by the United States where the average adult weighs 180.62 pounds (81.93 kg).

    The United Kingdom is the tenth fattest country in the world, where an average adult weighs 167.1 pounds (75.8 kg).

    The study, published in the journal BMC Public Health and launched on Monday at the United Nations conference Rio+20, highlights the problem of obesity in relation to the environment.

    Excess consumption shortens people’s lives and accelerates the destruction of the environment, and is concentrated in richer countries.

    While the average body mass globally was 62 kg, North Americans weigh in at 81.9 kg.

    And while the US makes up only five per cent of the world’s population, it accounts for almost a third of the world’s weight due to obesity.

    In comparison, Asia has 61 per cent of the world’s people but only 13 per cent of the world’s weight.

  25. Idiots permalink
    January 9, 2013

    And fuck heads Australian population is 22-23million

    United stated population is around 300-400million your fucking logic is flawed if you think Australia could ever be fatter then United States

    Get some logic it’s free with a pencil at a post office

  26. Robber permalink
    January 23, 2013

    Another one for this list is the Tim Tam biscuit (http://www.arnotts.com.au/our-products/products/arnotts-tim-tam.aspx). It’s the treat I miss the most when I’m away from Australia.

    A Tim Tam slam with a strong espresso cannot be beaten:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Do-the-Tim-Tam-Slam

    Though you CAN get them in America now – mmm choc goodness. I think I might order some right now.
    http://www.simplyoz.com/products/on_sale_-_limited_quantities/arnotts_tim_tams

  27. AussieJT permalink
    February 15, 2013

    No one in Australia eats a pie floater, that’s English. So your list is really only 9.
    If you want something really Australian, you can’t go past a sausage roll in a roll, now thats Aussie tucker

  28. Melbournite permalink
    March 31, 2013

    I feel that I must protest about some of the comments/descriptions of some of these foods:
    10. Burger with the Lot – Absolutely fantastic – photo does not do it justice.
    9. Burger Rings – Like bacon and cheese snacks. Not a fan, but… semen tasting??? Honestly? You are so totally wrong. Why would you even go there?
    7. Egg & Bacon Pie – An English invention. Not Australian. Haven’t you heard of Quiche Lorraine?
    6. Potato Cake. Also known as Potato Scallops in New South Wales, Although there are now companies out there who are now making them out of mashed potato (and are generally quite disgusting), most authentic fish and chips shops use sliced potato and they are great.
    3. Dagwood Dogs. Only seen at carnivals and fairs. I don’t know anyone who actually eats them.
    1. Pie Floater. Predominantly South Australian – rarely seen anywhere else.

    You forgot to add Dims Sims, invented in Melbourne, bur popular right around Australia. Steamed or deep fried. Something like a larger Chinese dumpling or wonton, but with a thicker wrapper and normally consists of a minced pork or lamb, cabbage and flavourings.

  29. Ausinusa permalink
    April 14, 2013

    I think a straight up meat pie rather than a bacon and egg one. With sauce. Plus Tim tams and lamingtons.

    Also I believe that chefs in both Australia and NZ created dessert dishes for Anna Pavlova when she toured in the 1920s. However, while the original NZ recipe was created first it in no way resembled the modern pavlova. It was instead a gelatin based custard. The recipe which stuck was created in Australia.

  30. May 3, 2013

    awsome burger rings and bacon and egg pie

  31. May 20, 2013

    Dumb :P

  32. Brendan permalink
    July 2, 2013

    I have never seen the pie floater thing before and I was born and raised in Australia. As for Vegemite it goes even better with cheese and some herbs and put under the grill.

    And to beat a Bacon and Egg pie try the Shepards pie it is mashed potato and steak minced up in a nice beef gravy, or a Quiche can beat that and guess what they can be used with some tomato sauce.

    And to beat all of it try a Tim Tam, they are like the crack of biscuits.

  33. July 17, 2013

    what about tim tams??????
    * as for the pie floater……I have NEVER seen that ever and I am born and bred aussie.
    * Vegemite is best if it’s on hot toast with lots of butter and a small amount of veg, or in a sandwich with cheese.
    * burger rings tasting like semen is a bit rich, they aren’t my cup of tea, but they sure don’t taste like semen.

  34. chez permalink
    July 28, 2013

    what a load of crap…… i am an aussie born an bread now living in the US for the past year, i can honestly tell you all that Americans are way way way larger than Aussies, their portion sizes could feed a family of four and just about everything is covered in some kind of ghastly sauce.

    Aussie hamburgers are amazing with fresh salads etc, burger rings OMG… the best as for pie floater… never heard of that one but it sounds very English to me… vegemite is the best invention and is not just a sandwich spread… rubbed on pork crackle .. yum, yum,yum.

    Potato scallops were part of my childhood… i am stuck with greasy hash browns here… also McDonalds is the same all around the world, but in the US they have much larger menus including Bacon Sundaes…

    Now really….. facts are much easier to believe once you have lived both lifestyles.

  35. Anthea Alexander permalink
    January 21, 2014

    I’m from South Australia the home of the Pie Floater. For many years they where sold out of a van I think mainly at night (hangover cure) from two locations in Adelaide. I have only had one in my life but they are an iconic South Australian food. I’m not sure if the pie floater vans even exist now. No doubt in today’s world they have been gourmet up! As for the rest it also is all very South Australian too. In fact every thing on here is what we call it in SA. But the descriptions are off and as for the burger ring description the person who gave that description obviously has tainted taste buds and should try sucking on a Dagwood dog instead of what she/he obviously spends way to much time sucking on!!

  36. John Kitchen permalink
    February 22, 2014

    Australians haven’t really invented much in the food line, except perhaps the grotesque Chiko Roll (which, incidentally, is produced by a company with its HQ in Boise, Idaho). Pavlova is from New Zealand (despite the Aussie propaganda). Most of the other items have been eaten in England long before the Aussies invented them. Pie and peas is a traditional English dish, the Aussies just took the peas to excess. Vegemite was only produced because supplies of Marmite (a far more exquisite product) were interrupted by WWI. Potato scallops or fritters are old hat in England, etc., etc. Even classics like Melba toast and Peach Melba (named after the Aussie opera singer) were invented by Escoffier at the Savoy. Which just about leaves boston buns, beetroot on the burger and witchetty grubs as Australian. No wonder the Aussies are now the third most obese nation in the world! Give me a flat white and a cherry ripe.

  37. John Kitchen permalink
    February 22, 2014

    ps Tim Tams were copies of English Penguin biscuits – Arnotts admit that. Sausage rolls – Australian!? Give me a break – they were being eaten in England long before Australia. I live in the USA, have lived in England and spent a lot of time in Oz where I have family and the isolation in Australia is obviously getting to the folks down there.

  38. March 5, 2014

    lol.Never want to see agen

  39. March 9, 2014

    A somewhat misinformed list, do some research next time you spend time writing an article on food origins. It is quite possible the Sally Lunn aka the Boston Bun is Australian in origin, created some time in the 1950s. However the Pavlova is definitely not. The earliest mention found of the Pavlova as we know it in Australia is 1935. New Zealand beat out that date not once, but twice. It is well-documented. I have no time for willfully ignorant idiot commenters like Martine who have no idea of what they speak.

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