Last time I was in Sydney, a woman asked my, “Mr. Harvey, do you ever eat any bush food?” “oh yes” I answered. “And what do you eat?”
“Well ” I said, ” I eat eggs, ducks, goes, oysters, fish, mussels, crab – soon get used to Aboriginal Tucker”. She gasped. ” I thought they only ate witchetty grubs and raw meat ” (Bill Harney’s Cook Book, published 1960)
Bill Harney was a world famous author, broadcaster and friend of the Indigenous Australian’s, and probably the most qualified person to write the first truly Australian cook book.
Indigenous Australians didn’t preserve food (pickle, brine, salt) because they were often on the move. They had fresh food available 12 months of the year. They didn’t have the knowledge nor the equipment to preserve food but they didn’t need to know!
The Colonials had that knowledge and a likening for some form of preservation but didn’t use it in their new home country, because they didn’t need to. This preference for fresh food continued to be a pillar and a uniqueness in the evolution of the Aussie Cuisine. Therefore we could conclude that the Aussie Cuisine is “fresher” (not meaning better) then Mediterranean Cuisine, which as it turns out is one of our foundations.