From rich gamey kangaroo meat to nutritious wriggling white larvae, the Land Down Under is nothing if not diverse and unique. So get ready to venture out of your comfort zone with this guide and try your hand at experiencing exotic food in Australia!
Australia’s always been land for the brave with its diverse wildlife and numerous deadly creatures. And with the Australian culinary world making its big return back to “Busher Tucker” cuisine — traditional food birthed from the Aboriginal lifestyle of hunting and gathering, Australia has definitely proven itself a worthy opponent for adventurous foodies. So grab onto your daredevil spirit and read on for our guide to exotic food in Australia!
Image credits: Unsplash
It may pain your heart to see these hoppy little creatures as meat on a platter (and even possessing their very own section in supermarkets). But the truth is, Kangaroo meat is high in protein and low in fat, making it an incredibly nutritious source. Similar to the lean meat of chicken and rabbit, but with a strong gamey flavour as compared to that of beef and lamb, its rich and robust earthy flavour may actually surprise you. Try it in the form of a roo steak, which tends to be on the rare side to prevent its lean texture from becoming tough and chewy. Or savor this native Australian meat through kangaroo stir-frys, kangaroo tail soup, and even kangaroo lasagna!
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to explore more Kangaroo dishes.
Image credits: Unsplash
Although not widely eaten in the Land Down Under, Crocodile meat and their eggs used to be staples in Aboriginal meals. Often served as carpaccio or sushi in upscale restaurants, this delicacy boasts surprisingly tasty, white succulent meat that is low in fat and high in protein.
Try wattleseed crocodile with riberry confit for a more authentic taste of bush tucker cuisine! Experience as the coffee and chocolate flavours of the wattleseed blend together with the taste of cloves from the riberry to give you a combination of the senses. Or give grilled/pan-fried crocodile fillets a taste. Some folks say it tastes like chicken but with a subtle fishy undertone. Dare I say see you later alligator? (We just had to).
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here for where to eat Crocodile meat in Australia.
Image credits: BeautyTap
Another exotic Australian staple, Emu meat is popularly known for its tender texture that tastes similar to chicken. Like Kangaroo meat, they’re low in fat and cholesterol and are commonly raised in the country for their high nutritional value. Fun fact: they used to be hunted by Aboriginals for their meat and oil which was thought to possess medicinal properties!
Grilled, fried, smoked, and even eaten slightly rare, Emus are usually consumed in the form of jerky or in fillets. Don’t be surprised to find that Emu meat can also be used as pizza toppings. In fact, even Emu-flavoured potato chips exist! Talk about variety.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to explore more Emu dishes.
4. Flathead Fish
Image credits: Boat Gold Coast
More than eating it, the adventurous aspect of this dish lies in its handling and preparation. Although it’s not exactly the prettiest fish in the ocean and contains two poisonous spines, this fish doesn’t taste as toxic as it looks. Mild and sweet in flavour, the flesh of a Flathead Fish is often described as fatty and scallop-like — perfect for steaming. When battered or deep-fried, this fish tastes amazing as a classic Aussie fish-and-chips dish to give you that golden crumbly exterior and soft fleshy insides. Find this plate of goodness in your nearest Aussie pub for a meal you won’t regret.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to explore more Flathead Fish dishes.
5. Witchetty Grubs
Image credits: Canes Bar & Grill
A little daunting to the eyes, these slippery critters are truly for the brave of heart. Eaten live and raw, the sight of these ghost moth larvae may leave you feeling slightly queasy. But ultimately, it has a slightly sweet nutty flavour and tastes like almonds, while its liquidy insides have been said to taste like scrambled eggs to a few. We can see why it was a popular snack for Aboriginals back in the old days.
However, if you’re still irked by eating these grubs raw, try it barbecued! Cooked over pieces of wires like satay, the result leaves the skin of these larvae tasting like crispy roast chicken or prawns. Tip: Remember to discard the head! Do you have what it takes to eat this creepy crawly?
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to find out more about Witchetty Grub.
6. Moreton Bay & Balmain Bugs
Image credits: Australian Fisheries Management Authority
These ocean critters may look like insects but they’re really crustaceans! Similar to crayfish and lobsters, these ocean bugs are loved for their white and firm flesh, with its shell turning from brown to red-orange when cooked. These bugs are often drizzled in butter or oil and seasoned with salt and pepper before being placed on the grill in their shells. Or if you prefer, try it poached, steamed, or grilled and get a taste of that sweet robust flavour!
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to explore more Moreton Bay & Balmain Bugs dishes.
7. Pie Floaters
Image credits: Daisy Chains and Picnics
We’ve heard of meat pies and we’ve heard of pea soup, but never both combined! This dish has been known to be late-night comfort food to warm the bellies of the overworked and can be found stocked in every Aussie bakery and supermarket. Sitting or submerged in green mushy goodness, you’ll find this warm crispy Pie Floater topped with tangy tomato sauce and filled with savory beef. The ultimate comfort food on a cold night.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to learn more about Pie Floater.
8. Quandong Fruit
Image credits: Gardening Know How
This wild peach is an important fruit in the Outback that is not only enjoyed raw but used in pies and jams as well. Sweet and tart to the taste with a hint of saltiness, the Quandong Fruit is highly nourishing and contains twice the vitamin C of an orange. Take a bite into this bright red juicy peach, it just might be your new favourite fruit to obsess over.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to explore more on Quandong Fruit.
Image credits: Eat, Little Bird
Calling all sweet tooths! Can you really say you’ve been to Australia if you haven’t tried this iconic tea time snack? A decadent chocolate sponge cake covered in coconut bits, Lamingtons are often found with a thin layer of jam or cream squished in between all that chocolatey goodness. So light and fluffy, we can already taste it.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to find out more about Lamington.
10. Wattleseed Ice Cream
Image credits: Essentials Magazine Australia
Treat yourself to some decadent wild-harvested wattleseed ice cream! Earthy and nutty with a hint of spice, this creamy goodness gives off a unique coffee flavour that tastes similarly to hazelnut or chocolate. Perfect for ending your Aussie feasts on a hot sunny day. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.
Exotic Food In Australia: Click here to learn more about Wattleseeds.
Hop Onto Your Next Food Adventure With Our Guide To Exotic Food In Australia
You’ve made it to the end of the article, congrats! Now that you’ve found your new list of exotic delicacies, you’re ready to take your palette one step further! Whether you’re stuffing your face in Wattleseed Ice Cream or purchasing your plane tickets, don’t forget to pay with your YouTrip card to make full use of our Wholesale Exchange Rates and skip those pesky bank fees.
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