Food & Drink

Where to buy authentic Australian foods

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collection of Australian foods
Authentic Australian foods are tasty and sometimes unusual
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Learning where to buy authentic Australian opens a myriad of new tastes

It's been many years since "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan did a commercial for the Australian Tourism Commission saying "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you," yet that's still the common image of Australian cuisine.

Stick with giant prawns and you'll miss many of the unique dishes, treats and snacks that have developed in Australia since the British First Fleet landed at Sydney Harbor in 1787 with a load of convicts for this new penal colony. The hard bread, salted meat and tea they brought ran out quickly and they eventually turned the local vegetation and animals into an interesting food culture all their own.

With movies, television travel shows and affordable trip packages, many people have seen the tasty treats from down under and wondered where to buy authentic Australian foods.

Of course, the easiest and most versatile way to shop for Australian foods is online. In addition to even more of the many foods mentioned below, online international grocery stores can ship desserts like crumpets and damper cakes and even some of Australia's famous meat pies.

You can start in any bricks-and-mortar grocery store in the snacks section where you'll find jars of macadamia nuts which are indigenous to Australia. Move over to the cereal section and you may find boxes of Weet-Bix, a high fiber wheat cereal invented in Australia and copied by the British under the similar name Weetabix. Over in the peanut butter and jelly aisle, you may find Vegemite, a dark brown spread made from leftover brewer's yeast that Australians love to spread on toast.

Speaking of brewers, Australia is known for its beers and wines, so check the wine section or a good wine or beverage store for beers like Victoria Bitter and XXXX and the many varieties of outstanding wines from Australian grapes.

Many grocery stores have international sections, so pay a visit there for some of Australia's iconic Arnott's biscuits and cookies, especially the cream-filled Tim Tams. To wash all of them down, look for some Australian teas like Bushell's and Billy Tea.

Another place to buy authentic Australian food is at stores specializing in British foods. This is where you'll find canned goods like Heinz baked beans, condiments like Peck's Anchovette and beverages such as Nestle's MILO Chocolate and Schweppe's Passiona.

Australians love coffee so pick up a can of Bushell's or another down under brand. Aussies also like unusual crispy and salty snacks, so look for Burger Rings and other varieties. Australia and Great Britain both have their own versions of American candy bars and these stores are great places to stock up on imported Mars bars, Nestle's Mint Bars and many varieties of Cadbury chocolates.

If you're looking to taste kangaroo or crocodile, you'll just have to visit the land down under in person. But for just about any other authentic Australian foods, you can get your fill at your local grocery store, British store or online. While you're enjoying your Arnott's Tim Tams, slip an extra shrimp on the barbie!

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