Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eating Down Under

We're still getting used to the differences in food-related things over here in Australia.  We are on a week-long, self-imposed hiatus from complaining about the higher prices, so I won't talk about that!  Most things are the same as in the United States.  You don't find as many Mexican restaurants, but there are lots of Asian ones, plenty of Italian ones, Greek places, pizza, etc.  But other things are pretty unique.  Lamb is huge here, and seafood is a lot more common than it was in Denver.

Also, you can buy kangaroo meat at the grocery store!  So yes, of course I got some and cooked it up for dinner the other day, because I had to try it.  It was pretty good; it kind of reminded me of venison.

Vegemite is the classic must-try in Australia.  I already knew that I didn't like the salty brown paste because of a previous Australian roommate, but Zack hadn't ever had it.  So I picked some up from the store, and he gave it a whirl.  I guess if you spread it really thinly on toast, it isn't that bad.

Some other interesting facts related to food... a filet is pronounced FILL-it, baking soda is called bicarbonate soda, candy is called lollies, carryout is called takeaway, and taking home your leftovers from a restaurant is not a normal thing.  Dim sims are popular, but we haven't tried them yet.  These are large, Chinese-inspired, fried dumplings that became a hit at the South Melbourne Market and now are the rage all over town.  Restaurants don't always automatically bring you water to drink.  When they do or when you ask for it, it is always room temperature-no ice.  And if you ask for lemonade, you get Sprite!  When you go to a fish and chips place, you have to pay for a little container of tomato sauce (ketchup).  They don't just have the little packets out for free.  Oh yeah, and chips are fries.

I'll leave you with the transcript of a funny interaction that took place with a girl at the counter where we stopped for lunch on our way down to surf this past weekend.  I wasn't that hungry, so I saw a few things listed as kid's meals, including one that said "chicken nuggets, chips, and postmix."

Me:  What is postmix?
Girl:  It's a syrup (said in a very heavy accent).
Me:  A what?
Girl:  A syrup-like at McDonald's (vaguely gesturing to something behind her).
Me:  (not wanting to look stupid by asking more questions) Oh, okay.

So I ordered the kid's meal, still not really knowing what I was going to get.  We were thinking maybe it was some type of dessert or something.  It turns out, postmix is soda!  Like a fountain drink.  So I got a Coke, which by the way is sweeter over here, because they make it with real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.  

Anyway, we're finding the little differences pretty interesting, so we thought you might too.  Soon I'll devote an entire post to the chocolate over here, because it's good enough to deserve its own day!

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