Sunday, July 11, 2010

Staple Aussie food

Emmanuelle, my daughter, has the impression that there exists a characteristic Australian cuisine. I have no idea where she got this strange idea. She often asks me whether, apart from steak and kidney pie, and crumbed lamb cutlets, etc, I can recollect any other typical Aussie dishes. I often tell her that my staple diet, as a lad in South Grafton, was peanut butter sandwiches. A few days ago, for the first time ever since I've been in France, I bought a jar of Nicaraguan peanut butter at the local supermarket.

With my home-made walnut bread and Norman butter, the sandwiches are as good as (probably better than) anything from my childhood.

Meanwhile, if Australian readers were to supply my daughter with the recipes of authentic Australian dishes, I'm sure she would be delighted (since I believe she's putting together some kind of a document in this domain). Following my last visit to Australia, I've attempted to obtain the recipe of traditional meat pies of the so-called "humble pie" variety (this could well be a trademark), but nobody has ever replied to my inquiries.


  1. I eat / drink quite a lot of stuff which is nowadays supposed to be "not healthy".

    But, William, please tell me how anybody is able to eat a "peanut butter sandwich".

    I tried, but I must say that, for me, it is not attractive at all. I have no problem eating peanuts, butter or bread separately (by the way, I bought a bread machine and make my own bread - it is very tasty!), but putting all these ingredients together is too much for me : it is just fat and does not taste of anything.

    Am I wrong ? Or maybe it is just a question of culture.

  2. You're surely right, Corina. Peanut butter sandwiches are pure fodder for efficient fattening. But I've only been eating this stuff on an average of once every half a century... and I don't intend to make it a habit. I bought that Nicaraguan jar of peanut butter for purely nostalgic reasons. (I was looking around for so-called "equitable" coffee.) Have you got around to tasting the 100% pure Aussie stuff called Vegemite?

  3. grrr...

    Just failed to have my comment sent for moderation...

    The only way to eat this is by including honey in the sandwich, thereby smoothing the way for the peanut butter around the mouth and down the throat. Otherwise, it's simply too hard to swallow.

  4. Annie, would a few spoonfuls of sour cream maybe amplify the effects of the honey?

  5. I have no idea. I'm talking about the late 60s and early 70s. My mother never had much to do with sour cream. And I don't remember ever buying myself a jar of peanut butter!

  6. Annie: In evoking cream (of any kind whatsoever), I was joking, just taking a gentle dig at Corina. But there probably are people who might combine peanut butter, ordinary butter, honey and cream in a single sandwich.

  7. Peanut-butter and banana sandwiches were a favourite of mine for a long time - similarly peanut-butter and honey.

    There's a food going round that's a sticky, sticky goo/peanut, peanut butter/ errum, errum, errum, errum and it sticks to you/peanut, peanut butter [etc.]

  8. Have you got around to tasting the 100% pure Aussie stuff called Vegemite?

    Not yet. I noticed that you talk about it every now and then on your blog, but to be honest, I never understood what it was...

    Where do you buy it?