Regular ES readers know that I love to celebrate/poke fun at the deep-fried ridiculousness that is American cuisine. My 2008 expose on the Top 10 Foods Only America Could Have Invented remains one of our most popular posts, and by far the most controversial. Every few days a new reader finds this story via social networks and leaves an outraged comment, intimating that I clearly must be a communist for daring to disrespect corn dogs. The BS haters’ favorite line of attack is pointing out that America is not alone in our attempt to deep fry every food. For example, Tav68 rails:
Someone needs to set this poster straight. America is actually number 11 on the list of the worlds fattest nations. This is Directly from the UN web site. Not from some reporter who wants to bash America but from the UN who keeps statistics on this type of thing NOT used for the purpose of Nation Bashing. Australia is the world’s fattest nation, with 36.2 percent of adults being obese…
Hey, point taken. While I have long believed no country can top America when it comes to the great art of artery clogging, I’m willing to give any of them a chance. So in honor of January 26 — Australia Day — and the fact that there is a bring the KFC double down sandwich to Australia facebook petition — I bring you the top 10 foods that only Australia could have invented:
10. Australian Hamburger with “The Lot”
The Aussies may not have invented the hamburger, but they sure have taken it to levels not many cultures could have imagined. Ask for one with “the lot” and it will come loaded with a runny fried egg, bacon, cheese, beets (!), pineapple, tomato, lettuce, onions and ketchup (which they call tomato sauce). Makes the New Luther look like snack food. (Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell)
9. Burger Rings
Speaking of snack food, when you can’t find a burger with the lot in Australia, you can always grab a bag of burgers — a.k.a. these beef-y snack rings. If the thought of popping burger-flavored snack rings into your mouth makes you want to gag, then you probably won’t want to know that these things reportedly taste like semen.
8. Chiko Roll
Found at football matches and many Aussie fish-and-chip shops, the Chiko is basically a Chinese egg roll, only upgraded so that it’s large enough to serve as a whole meal. Inside, you’ll find more than just shredded cabbage: usually beef, barley, carrots, green beans and onions. (Photo: Wikipedia)
7. Bacon and Egg Pie
This is what I call a solid breakfast. As in most countries formerly ruled by Britain, Australians are obsessed with savory pies. The meat pie has even been referred to as the national dish here, and it can be made with anything from minced beef to lamb and steak. But how can you beat one stuffed with good ol’ bacon and eggs? (Photo: Wikipedia)
6. Potato Cakes
Now this is where the Australians really start to challenge us for the deep-fried crown. Smartly realizing that a plate of fried fish and chips just isn’t substantial enough for many people, many chippers here serve their fish with potato cakes — basically giant circles of mashed potatoes deep-fried within an inch of their life. This is one oversize side that puts french fries to shame. Check out Good Food Gourmet for a recipe.