Top 10 Australia Day dishes
WHILE Australia Day is a marvellous opportunity to celebrate our great and diverse community, it's also a wonderful excuse to enjoy delicious food.
While we recognise our families, friends and neighbours may be tucking into a kangaroo stir-fry, tofu burger, beef salad, chilli prawn or tikka masala, there are still a few quintessentially Australian treats which add a special flavour to any January 26 celebration.
Here's a list of some of the best-loved Australian dishes
1. Pavlova - No matter if you top with the traditional passion-fruit and cream or go the more exotic berries and chocolate, this meringue confection unites all whom taste it. Created in 1926 in honour of the Russian ballerina who gave the dish its name, even our Kiwi cousins who lay claim to this dish agree there's nothing like a 'pav'.
2. Anzac biscuit - A robust combination of rolled oats, butter, sugar, golden syrup and flour, this little biscuits (never cookies) have found a firm place in the Australian pantry. As easy to bake as they are to eat, this little darlings are as patriotic as the name suggests and a fitting tribute to our Diggers.
3. Meat pies - Flaky pastry filled with meat, a dash of sauce and you're on your way to enjoying one of the great meals. Whether scoffing a plain beef pie covered in tomato sauce at the footy, a gourmet duck pie at a bistro or a chicken pie at lunch at nana's we are united in our love of this dish.
4. Lamington - Rolling those squares of chocolate icing-dipped sponge cake rolled in a tray of desiccated coconut - and licking your fingers afterwards - is one the great Australian childhood memories. But if you didn't get to do this, it's not too late to start making these addictive treats.
5. Piklets - Sweet pancakes in miniature, dripping in butter, what's not to love? Exactly. Why yes, I'd love another one.
6. Prawns - Long before Paul Hogan suggested tourists throw another prawn on the barbecue, we have been relishing these cracker little beauties. Served with a wedge of melon or lime, dipped in chilli or ginger sauce, they can transform your luncheon from drab to delicious.
7. Fairy bread - A treat the kids and adults needing a sugar-hit, buttered (never margarine) on bread, thickly encrusted with hundreds and thousands and cut into small triangles is a treat bringing smiles to the faces of young and old.
8. Snag - One a tribute to our British heritage, the humble sausage is now available in flavours including but not limited to beef and red wine, lamb, mint and rosemary, Peking duck, chicken, feta, pistachio and rocket and kangaroo and salsa verde. No matter the variety, they must be eating in a slice of bread, white or nine-grain sourdough, it's up to you.
9. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Gorgonzola - Never tried this? You haven't lived. A perfect accompaniment to all those barbecued delights.
10. Whatever you want - Let's face it, you live here so if it's legal and ethical, have it on the table and share with your friends. Some of the best Australia Day events I've attended have included food made with love with a delicious and diverse heritage, including India, England, New Guinea, Japan. Malaysia, Scotland, Germany and Pakistan. If you have an amazing food heritage, please go ahead, cook up a storm and share the love.