|image source: Darren Freak, dftours.com.au|
Today 10 new additions to the Australian Film and Sound Archive were announced. What an interesting way to preserve Australian cultural history throughout the years. It did make me think, what about a Australian Taste Archive? Here are my suggestions for the initial inductees.
‘Roo is perfect food for the number one spot. Eaten by Australian residents as well as their pets, it is also on Australia’s coat of arms. Along with the emu it was chosen for the coat of arms due to its inability to move backwards, ie Australia is always looking forwards. Of course it could be argued that its inability to reverse might be one of the reasons it is so easily killed for food. Kangaroo also has the unique position of being a national symbol whilst also being treated like vermin. Kangaroos also represent an interesting allegory for Australia’s refugee stance. Politically Australia prides itself on its multicultural society and its history of immigration, whilst at the same time wanting to rid itself of new arrivals.
When hamburger outlets want to have an “Australian” variation to a basic menu item they add beetroot. In the same way adding BBQ sauce makes it American/Texan.
In the same way that the addition of beetroot makes a hamburger Australian, the addition of an egg to a pizza makes it more Aussie. Alternatively some pizza makers may choose to remove most ingredients from their pizza to make it more authentic Aussie – leaving only the tomato cheese and ham. This theory ignores the fact that an authentic pizza is Neapolitan. (yes I know this is a pizza “flavour” it also means “from Naples” - and yes that does mean that the only authentic pizza flavour/topping is Neapolitan - and no that is not to be confused with the mix of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream that is also called Neapolitan.)
Similar to beetroot and egg, except this is added to recipes in Australian middle and working class homes to make ant dish seem for exotic. Generally adding pineapple to a recipe allows the cook to describe the meal as “sweet and sour”. Beef stew + pineapple = sweet and sour beef.
The Chiko Roll is the Australian interpretation of the spring roll or a Chinese egg roll. It is a mix of beef, celery, cabbage, barley, carrot, corn, onion, green beans, and spices wrapped in a pastry and then deep fried. Tasty, right? It was once the perfect fast food for spectators at an Australian Rules Football match, quick to cook, easy to eat with one hand.
Similar to the Chiko, a meat pies comes into its own at a game of footy. Whilst it is questionable as to how much actual meat a pie should contain (if any) they are basically meat and gravy in pastry, cooked in an oven. A meat pie should be eaten with tomato sauce and ideally be served at a temperature that guarantees the eater burns the roof of his or her mouth. The reflex action of pulling away quickly with one’s mouth open almost always results in at least some of the filling spilling onto the front of the eaters shirt leaving a permanent stain.
Cooked on the BBQ the perfect Australian sausage should be either burnt so that it actually crunches during the chewing process or is left so that it is still raw in the middle. Either way the consumer is sure to be spending some time in the near future vacating the same sausage from their bowels. No one knows the exact list of ingredients that creates an Australian sausage. No one wants to know the list of ingredients that create an Australian sausage.
It is worth noting that Chiko Rolls, meat pies , poorly cooked snags and vegemite within hours, also lead to a range of digestive bi-products which could be the initial entries to the Australian Smell Archive.