Australians love celebrating in the middle of summer and that’s not entirely their fault! After all, December 25 in the land down under is the peak summer season – so as one might imagine, the festive menu is quite different from other Christmas menus around the world. Even if we also have a Christmas tree, baubles, christmas stocking and all the rest.
From appetizing fruit-topped pavlovas to mouth-watering grilled prawn cocktails, here are eight recipes to try when it comes to Christmas food in Australia.
Number 1 on Christmas menu in Australia - Prawns
For most Australians, the festive menu is practically non-existent without seafood – from giant banana prawns to king prawns and all kinds of prawn cocktails. Ever since Paul Hogan conceived the idea of throwing ‘an extra shrimp on the barbie’ during an Australian tourism campaign many years ago, the locals have made it a Christmas tradition to barbeque fresh prawns, using them as both Christmas menu starters and main courses.
In case you’ve ever wondered how the name of this dish came about, it’s all thanks to Anna Pavlova, a Russian prima ballerina from the late 19th and early 20th century era. However, the origins of this delightful Christmas food in Australia has long been the subject of dispute between Aussies and New Zealanders.
“The Pav” is an egg dessert featuring a crunchy meringue shell and an airy centre that somewhat resembles a marshmallow. The heavenly delight is topped off by firm peaks of whipped cream and fresh blackberries and strawberries, a seasonal favourite during Australian summers. It is one of the most common Christmas desserts in Australia.
The scent of ginger is bathed in Christmas tradition this time of year as young and old Australians can be seen cutting out Christmas-shaped gingerbread and decorating it with cute little ornaments. These are not just savoured for their festive taste but also used as decorations.
Gingerbread houses are a crowd favourite – in fact, many call it a comforting cookie that is best enjoyed when iced.
It’s interesting how Christmas pudding came to Australia, as it dates back to medieval England, and brought to the land down under during the days of the early British colonisation.
The boiled dessert takes a dark silhouette that’s instantly identifiable even at range, and serves the taste buds with a rich and fruity experience. Typically, Christmas Pudding ingredients include currants and raisins, sultanas, almonds, dates, figs and a generous topping of rum or brandy to not just keep the pudding nice and moist but also give it a bit of a kick.
Orange is the standard flavour in Australian Christmas puddings as folks just can’t get enough of that summery tang. They’re also typically served with some custard.
Ah, yes – the ‘main event’ at anytraditional Australian Christmas – the ham!
Home cooks will often spend hours just gazing at their ovens, waiting to hear the timer buzz so that they can finally get to work carving the sweet and smoky treat.
Even though Australian families have their own preferences, the ham is mostly glazed with apricot or maple and honey, although pineapple juice serves as a close alternative for many. Baked cranberry or apple sauce goes alongside the sumptuous meat and crackling.
An all-time favourite among the young ones and very simple to make, White Christmasis a sweet Australian delight which, in some ways, is actually comparable to the Italian Torrone and Spanish Turrón.
There’s no need to bake the slices or pieces and you can make them using desiccated coconut, Copha, Rice Bubbles breakfast cereal and dried fruit like raisins, currants and sultanas.
This coconut and mango concoction tastes every bit as unbelievable as it sounds. Juicy and succulent strips of mango sit atop sweet, rich and decadent folds of coconut which is only enhanced by the cream which hides in the berry-filled base below.
Don’t try to resist this one because it’s utterly useless!
Turkey Roll with Almond and Cherry Stuffing
Turkey roll? Almonds and cherries? Oh yes, please!
No Christmas feast is complete without turkey – and attempting to skip it is for something else is akin to celebratory blasphemy! Enjoy the impossibly delicious and finger-licking turkey roll with a crunchy almond and sweet cherry stuffing.
So easy, so ridiculously delicious, and so perfect for Christmas food in Australia!
Are you interested in our traditions? Check out our other articles, such as traditional Christmas gifts in Australia.