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Australia Day Recipes

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Australia Day is celebrated around the country on January 26. The national holiday is celebrated in a variety of ways including concerts, parades, beach parties, barbecues and bake sales. Traditionally Australia Day commemorates the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney in 1788 thus marking British colonization of the continent. Today Australia Day also celebrates multiculutralism, diversity and tolerance. What follows is a range of typically Aussie recipes encompassing traditional favorites to more modern day flavors.

1. Pavlova

The Pavlova
S. Wongkaew
The Pavlova is New Zealand's national dessert. This delicate cake is part of a great debate between Australians and New Zealanders who both lay claim to its invention. The Pavlova is a meringue shell with a marshmallowy center topped with whipped cream and fruit. It was aptly named after Russian prima ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who visited New Zealand in 1926 and Australia in 1929.

2. Lamingtons

Lamingtons
S. Wongkaew
Lamingtons are a quintessential part of every Australian's childhood. The little sponge cake is dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut. These little treats are sold at school fairs and bake sales around the country. These days Lamingtons are also commercially produced however they don't taste as good as the homemade versions.

3. Lamb Roast

Lamb Roast
S. Wongkaew
A classic. Whether a leg or a shoulder cut, Sunday dinners with the family wouldn't be the same without it. This recipe is traditional. A small boneless lamb shoulder is simply seasoned with garlic and rosemary.

4. Lamb Kabobs

Lamb Kabobs
S. Wongkaew
Lebanese flavors enhance these barbecued lamb kabobs with hints of cinnamon, paprika, lemon juice and garlic.

5. Meat Pie

Aussie Meat Pie
S. Wongkaew
The meat pie is considered somewhat of an iconic food in both Australia and New Zealand. And while over the years tastes have evolved, the pie continues to have a firm place in the hearts and mouths of both countries. The pies are filled with ground beef, onions and gravy and topped with tomato sauce (ketchup).

6. Potato Pie

A favorite in many pie shops, individual pies are filled with delicious ground beef and gravy and covered with a crispy top of golden mashed potato.

7. Beer Battered Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips
S. Wongkaew
Fish & Chips down at the beach is a perennial Aussie and Kiwi favorite. The fish is usually coated in a light, golden batter (often made with beer) with a side of hot chips or potato scallops covered in salt and vinegar.

8. Cheese & Olive Damper

Damper
S. Wongkaew
Damper is a yeastless bread that was traditionally eaten in Australia by early colonial settlers. It was simply made of flour, salt, sugar and either water or less frequently, milk. Damper was cooked in the ashes of a fire or wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open flame. It would be consumed with whatever condiments were handy such as sliced of meat or golden syrup.

9. Apple & Cinnamon Damper

Apple Cinnamon Damper Image
S. Wongkaew
This recipe is a delicious take on traditional Australian damper with the addition of freshly grated apple, fragrant cinnamon and dark brown sugar. Serve slices of the hot damper with butter, sliced banana and a dash of dark maple syrup. It's heavenly.

10. Barbecued Shrimp

BBQ Shrimp
S. Wongkaew
The phrase "slip a shrimp on the barbie" was made famous by a television advertisement developed by the Australian Tourism Commission in the mid-1980s. The ad starred Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan and was aimed at increasing American tourism to Australia, which it did very successfully. The ad is somewhat misleading. While the word "barbie" is short for "barbecue" and commonly used in the Australian vernacular, the word "shrimp" is never used. Australians call it a "prawn."
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