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16 Classic Food Staples Of The Australian Summer That Don’t Get Enough Credit

4 min read
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It’s not summer ’til you’ve had your first mango.

1.

Paddle Pops


Adham Dannaway / Via Twitter: @AdhamDannaway

Even if Paddle Pops aren’t your favourite ice cream (shout out to Splice), you can’t go a summer without having at least one. Every flavour is so good, even if you can never agree with your mates on which one is best.

2.

Mango


Flickr: joyosity / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: joyosity

The first day that trays of mangoes are set out in supermarkets and fruit shops, it’s like an official signal that summer is on the way. A cold mango for breakfast on a hot summer morning? Unbeatable.

3.

A crappy but delicious barbecue


Flickr: srikumar / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: srikumar

A backyard or beach picnic barbie is a summer essential. You don’t need anything fancy — slightly charred sausages from Coles are just as good as the expensive shit.

4.

Ice-cold Pasito


Creative Commons / Via au.openfoodfacts.org

A Pasito in winter just doesn’t hit the same way it does on a hot day. Plus, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a sausage sambo.

5.

Overpriced fruity cocktails


Flickr: waldopepper / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: waldopepper

Summer means day drinking — and day drinking often means a cocktail (or 10). At first you’re outraged at paying $18 for some gin and Pimms with sliced fruit, but after a couple of drinks you’re trying to buy rounds for the whole table.

6.

$1 Slurpee


Flickr: beaugiles / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: beaugiles

Picture this: It’s a 35ºC day, with about 95% humidity. You’re absolutely dying, then you see a 7-Eleven up the road glimmering in the sunshine and it’s like you’ve arrived at the gates of heaven. A $1 Slurpee on a hot day is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures.

7.

Christmas ham


Dwight Sipler / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: photofarmer

The best part of Christmas is the food and the absolute best part of the holiday season is leftover Christmas ham. There’s always so much of it and having a thick ham and cheese toastie on Boxing Day is bliss.

8.

Warm cans of alcopops


Smirnoff

Even though they’re overpriced and mid-strength, you’ve gotta have a couple of premixed can drinks if you’re at a music festival or outdoor concert. Yep, they’ll be warm within 10 minutes and they’re a bit sickly sweet, but they’re a necessity.

9.

Fish ‘n’ chips


Flickr: Travis / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: variationblogr

With plenty of lemon on the fish and chicken salt on the chips, of course. It’s best enjoyed at the beach, but is also a great contender for Friday night takeaways.

10.

Cherries


Flickr: henrybloomfield / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: henrybloomfield

Along with mango, cherries are one of those fruits that hit different in summer. They can get pricey, so it’s all about finding them when they’re on sale and gorging yourself on cherries for a week.

11.

Pavlova


Dave Scriven / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: furious-angel

It’s not a Christmas dinner without your aunt or mum whipping up a pavlova, complete with lashings of cream and fruit. Even if you don’t like it (the crunchy texture gives me goosebumps tbh), you can just scoop off the toppings and eat those.

12.

Cold prawns


Flickr: su-lin / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: su-lin

If you live on the coast, you know the absolute perfection of a bucket of cold prawns on a hot Christmas day.

13.

A box of Favourites


au.openfoodfacts.org / Via Creative Commons

Yes, you can eat these year-round. But boxes of Favourites seem to multiply during the Christmas holidays, to the point where everywhere you go someone offers you a mini chocolate.

14.

Cheese cubes and cabanossi


Twitter: Peter Wells / Via Twitter: @peterwells

Keep ya fancy brie and cured meats and deliver me a platter of Jatz, Bega cubes and chopped up cabanossi from the supermarket deli counter. Yes, this combo has become a bit of a trope, but you can’t deny it’s delicious.

15.

Bad small town coffee


Flickr: Katherine Lim / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: ultrakml

December means going to visit family in rural towns, which often means shops that close at 3pm and cafes that serve up pretty terrible coffee. But there’s no point being a snob about it, just lean in and drink as many overpriced shopping centre capps as you can.

16.

And finally, Chang’s noodle salad


Flickr: Jules / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: stone-soup

Another classic Aussie Christmas dish, I have no idea how this cabbage noodle salad evolved into the staple it is today. All I know is that you just can’t do Christmas lunch without it.

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