Australian fare • 10.28.09
I posted about foods that I miss from America, and I posted about foods that I’ve fallen in love with here in the UK. But, the series feels really incomplete without posting about the foods I loved in Australia.
The thing is, we lived in Australia for a long time. A little over four years. I know that isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of the universe, but in the story of my own life, four years in one location is a long time.
I grew up in a very small town in Georgia, and spent about 13 years of my life there. Prior to that, and I don’t really remember the details very well because I was in diapers, we lived in both New York and North Carolina.
Then, when I was 16, we moved to a bigger town in Georgia about 4 hours away from where I grew up. I lived in this town for about 2 years, then I went off to college in New York.
In the four years I was at university I lived in Syracuse, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Washington DC and, occasionally, back home in Georgia.
After I graduated I moved to South Dakota for six months for a job. Then I moved back to Georgia to move in with Andy and we left four months later for Australia.
So, my life, from the age of 16 to right about now, has been a bit scattered. I love it and I wouldn’t trade it for all beer in Germany, but it has made it hard to know where home really is. Four solid years in Australia (albeit, interrupted by tons of fabulous travels) seemed very permanent to me. When I get homesick now, about 50% of the time it’s for America and 50% of the time it’s for Australia.
Anyway, that’s a very long intro into what was supposed to be a quick little list about the foods I love, and miss, from Australia.
1. Avocados. I mentioned this in my post on foods I miss from America, but I can honestly say I never had a great avocado until I moved to Australia. In Sydney we could get beautiful, creamy avos almost all year around. I ate a few of them a week. Avocado spread on mega grain toast with a sprinkling of salt and pepper became my favourite breakfast. I could get lovely avo as a spread on a sandwich at lunch anywhere in town. Avocados are everywhere in Sydney, and they are almost always great.
2. Oysters. Well, all seafood really. The oysters in and around Sydney are especially wonderful. I think Andy first started eating oysters when we moved to Sydney and now, they are one of his favourite types of seafood. Delicious and fresh and widely available.
3. Meat pies. I know, I know. Such a cliché! But honestly, after a long night at one of the many excellent pubs and bars in Sydney, is there anything as satisfying as a meat pie with mash and gravy from Harry’s Café de Wheels in Woolloomooloo? We took some American mates there after a night out for Andy’s 30th and it is still one of my favourite memories of our time in Sydney. Iconic.
4. Wine. This isn’t a food, but a huge part of our Australian experience was defined by wine. We travelled all over the country (Margaret River, Barossa Valley, Mornington Penninsula, Mudgee, Hunter Valley, Orange) tasting Australian wines. Some were explosive, strong and practically had to be chewed. Some were delicate, lemony and begged to be sipped outside on a hot, Sydney night. They were all a treat to learn about and sample. We had some wonderful friends who were at least as into wine as we were, and some of our best times in Australia were spent sharing a beautiful bottles with our mates.
5. Ramen at Ichi bon Boshi. We used to live within a 5 minute walk of some of the most authentic Japanese ramen in Australia. We’d eat there at least once a week. It was tiny, dingy, packed. We tried many of the items on their large menu, but we always came back to the steaming hot bowls of ramen. There are days now, drizzly, cold and grey English days, where I think that the price of a round-trip ticket from London to Sydney might not be too expensive for a bowl of ramen at Ichi bon Boshi.