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Food Blog: Meanwhile in Australia at Christmas

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

Many of you are used to the all-familiar Christmas dinner of turkey, gravy, stuffing and potatoes on the 25th of December.  For me however, this will be a completely new experience. 

I’m from Australia, where in December it is thirty degrees plus and daylight all night long; therefore it would be a little hard to stomach a hot turkey or ham, mountains of potatoes and hot vegetables for ‘lunch’ (dinner is referred to as an evening meal in Australia). 

I know the question you must all be wondering…So what do you eat for this festive tradition in the land down under?

Each family has their own different tradition and some do follow the British Christmas meal. However, a lot of families simply have a barbie at the beach and play a game of cricket. What is a barbie? A Barbeque (BBQ) where everything and anything gets grilled (even the sweetcorn and potatoes). 

Usually the beach is quite packed with tourists and is very hot so my family and I opt to stay at home and eat on our deck, footsteps away from the much needed air conditioner. Ever since I can remember, this is traditionally how our family Christmas day goes:

Image: Bondi Beach on Christmas day 

First course of the day after all the gifts have been given and received is a round of seafood on the BBQ, usually prawns and calamari. The seafood is accompanied by mayonnaise and a hint of lime. NOT ‘shrimps on the barbie’ as Paul Hogan (Australian comedian and actor) has led you all to believe. Shrimps – which by my definition are tiny prawns – would be too small and fall through the bars of the BBQ! 

We then move onto the main course which includes the traditional chicken, ham and turkey. BUT instead of being put in the oven and served hot, in Australia we cook our meats on the BBQ and serve them cold. I can imagine a lot of confused faces reading this but trust me it tastes delicious!  Along with this meat feast are numerous delicious salads. These salads can be of any type, such as Caesar salad, Greek salad or a pasta salad. 

With much delight, dessert then rolls around the corner as my sister and I roll around the floor from eating too much. Due to my parents being Irish, my dad attempts (every year) to make Christmas pudding and/or a trifle. Most other families in Australia usually have Pavlova served with fruits of the season (cherries and mangoes) accompanied by vanilla ice cream. 

Image: My sister and I, Christmas 2013. 

After much rest and a game of cricket or a trip to the beach for a swim, Dad will crack open a chilled bottle of beer and Mum a glass of chilled white wine and a few Tim Tam’s (like penguin biscuits but so much better).  If you have never eaten a Tim Tam’s you have never lived! 

I am quite excited to try out this new festive experience here in the UK this year. I might even have to buy a pair of maternity pants just to fit it all in. I am a little bit petrified however for the Brussel sprouts. 

Image Sources 

  1. https://www.facebook.com/MeanwhileInAustralia
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/australiaandpacific/australia/9621339/Sydney-a-very-Australian-Christmas.html \
  3. http://www.fruitandvegcity.co.za/pan-fried-garlic-butter-prawns/
  4. My own image 
  5. http://alilmixedup.com/2014/09/18/admitting-is-the-first-step/