Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Ryland claims that Australian cuisine is ‘an aggregation of recipes, styles and techniques from all over the world, using a wide range of fresh and original ingredients.’ He refers to our cooking style as a ‘globalised international cuisine’, which occurred through migration and active importation.

  • There is no denying that the peasant classes contribute towards the creation of regional cuisines in traditional cultures. Since the peasant classes never existed in the Australian society, the author implies that our cuisine had to borrow techniques and cooking styles from other cultures to develop.

  • The author points out that the barbecue is a quintessential Australian style of cooking, as it ‘is practised across all social classes and in almost all homes. It is simple and provides comfort and pleasure.’ If having a backyard BBQ is a truly Aussie tradition, BBQ sausages served in a bun with tomato sauce can be proclaimed as a national dish.

By Jeremy Ryland

Whether Australia has its own cuisine has been the subject of much debate. Australia’s cuisine is an adopted one. An aggregation of recipes, styles and techniques from all over the world, using a wide range of fresh and original ingredients. Almost every ingredient available in the Old World is now cultivated in Australia, together with many new and exotic varieties. This ready supply of both traditional and new ingredients has made it easy for Australia to accept cuisines from around the world.

Australia’s food is arguably amongst the best in the world and its cooking style is a crowning achievement of global popular culture. Australian chefs are in demand worldwide for their creativity and use of fresh, readily available ingredients. But this is not uniquely Australian “cuisine”. It is a globalised international cuisine. Whilst Australian cooking is of an international style, it is based on the cuisines of the cultures of its people. Australia has borrowed its cooking styles and techniques from other cultures, both through migration and active importation. Australia did not have the peasant classes that traditionally developed the cultural based regional cuisines of traditional cultures. However, modern Australian’s were all pioneers in their own way, seeking a new life in a new land. They brought with them their history and culture and modified this to suit their new lifestyles. In this sense Australia is developing a cuisine, as all cuisines evolve and change with time.

There are however many products that can be deemed to be “Australian”. One is perhaps, the barbeque or grill. Australia’s inhabitants have grilled food on an open fire for thousands of years. Today the backyard barbeque is a tradition. It is a style of cooking that is practised across all social classes and in almost all homes. It is simple and provides comfort and pleasure. It is the style of cooking practiced at Sizzler – Australian cuisine.

Jeremy Ryland is a food scientist, food marketer and gastronome; he works as a consultant for The Foodmakers.