Expat Magazine

Australian Food and Lingo, and Other Amusing Australian Expat Things

By Floridagirlinsydney
My refrigerator and pantry is absolutely, inexplicably Aussified... so there you have it, MATE. 
  • I know that "Tasty" cheese is actually Cheddar-- even if no one will admit it.
  • Bi-Carb Soda = baking soda.   I still have not adjusted my personal vocabulary on this one.
  • American Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran, and Cheerios =
  • Sultanas = raisins.  Though I do occasionally see "raisins" here, so that may be considered a variety, I'm still not sure about the whole thing.  
  • Grain Waves = Sun Chips, only thicker and not quite as good-- but close enough when you're without all your favorite snack items.
And though I'm not a huge fan of yellow mustard, I am always amused when I see this at the grocery store-- which of course is Woolworths (as in the 1960's five and dime store).
And besides American-style food items disguised in Australian packaging, there are some items I've been introduced to in Australia which now I will always appreciate and eat, and will definitely miss, if and when we leave Australia:
  • In the last year I've made lamb shanks, cutlets, and lamb backstraps; and tonight I made some mystery lamb cut-- fried those bad boys up in a pan alongside some "chips".  And to give credit where credit is due, the fries were made in my shiny, brand new Actifry by Tefal.  And OMG!  I cannot believe how damn good they came out.  About ten years ago or more, I attempted to make  homemade french fries by simply cutting up potatoes and baking them on a tray-- and I've got two words for the outcome on that, NOT DELICIOUS.  But recently my friend told me about this contraption that, with only one spoon of oil, and an air-blowing, slow-twirling, swirling whirling, hunk of metal-love-- it makes "chips" that will blow your mind.   Thanks Blondie.  
  • No wait, just one one thing on tonight's Actifry-chips-- did I mention they were crispy, and delicious, and I'll go as far as to say they tasted like they were from McDonalds (a.k.a "Maccas" in Australia)?   How could I have not known about this sooner?  Is this miracle machine selling in America?   To think of all the meals we've wasted without low fat french fries, what a shame. :) ha.
My chips in my brand-new, shiny Actifry space ship.
  • Another thing I've picked up here is a love for ricotta cheese and jam on toast-- and/or ricotta and avocado on toast with tomahto.   Sorry, I just let some of my new found Aussie accent slip out.
  • My six year old eats a butter, Vegemite, and Tasty Cheese sandwich for lunch every day... it's the only thing he wants.  It's shocking. 
  • Finally, I've tasted the almost official national dessert, pavlova.  Yum!  Who knew meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit would be so light and delicious-- and pretty?

(This photo belongs to vickaaaay on flickr, as the photo of the pavlova we made was not a good representation of pavlova).
  • And what better to top pavlova with, than passionfruit.  Passionfruits are eaten by slicing the little oval-shaped fruit in half, then scooping out the pulp and tasty little black crunchy seeds.  It's tart and sweet and fun to eat.  We put it over sliced bananas or ice cream or pavlova.  It's like we're practically Australian right?  And when necessary, you don't even have to mess with the real fruit, which is especially nice when you're making passionfruit cocktails, because in Australia we've got this...
  • Lastly--- sausages.  Sausages, sausages, sausages everywhere.  Dude-- I said SAUSAGES.  Nuff said.
  • Moving onto Aussie beverages, there's a lovely variety of juice in Australia called Apple Blackcurrant, I'd compare it's popularity here to CranApple in the U.S.  I can't say I'll actually miss this one if we left Sydney, as I'd prefer me some CranApple or CranGrape or CranWhatever anyday... but for now Apple Blackcurrent is fine.
  • Another popular drink in Australia is Yakult.  It's a fermented milk drink.  Wow, that makes it sound really appetizing.  Not.  But it is a tiny little bottle filled with pro-biotic goodness.  It's helped with the eczema in our family and my kids love it.  Very popular in the school lunchbox crowd.  Thank you for introducing us to Yakult, Skye!  or should I say, wild dinner party hostess?
Some potentially entertaining Aussie Lingo: 
  • Rubber = eraser.  You should have seen my mom's face when one of the kids said he "needed a rubber".  She may still be in shock over it.  Priceless memories :).  
  • Chucking a sickie = playing hookey.  And if you don't know what either of those mean, then you don't need to know. 
  • I know what "ta" means, but I have yet to say it.  It's Aussie for "thanks", but it just feels too awkward for me to actually use.  Maybe next year?
  • I just told a mom (mom) from school that her child left his "runners" at our house.  Runners = sneakers. 
  • I tell friends to bring their "swimmers" when they come over.  They reply that they'll grab their "cozzies" and come over.  Swimmer & cozzies = bathing suits. 
  • Arvo = afternoon.
  • My children color (color) with textas.  Textas = markers (as in magic markers).
  • I've recently found out that they do have tater tots here-- they're just called "potato gems".  I think that's really cute.
  • Sunnies = sunglasses.
  • Prezzies = presents.

And I just have a few other things to say today about being an expat life in Sydney:
  • The "no hat, no play" playground rule is really, really good; children are not allowed outside at school without a sunhat.  Personally, I think it should be international law-- and as long as we're changing international law, let's institute the Aussie school calender year internationally as well.  It begins the end of January, and ends the beginning of December.  There are four terms of approximately nine weeks each and four long breaks.  It's smartly structured so that, just as you are getting really damn sick of the whole school routine-- you get a couple of weeks off to just hang out.  It's mo' balanced.  What's not to like?
  • And the last thing I've got to say is... I'm not sure how it's possible that after nearly four years in Australia I've almost forgotten how convenient it is to "pay at the pump" for gas (that's American for "petrol") .   I thought the day would never come that I would pull into the petrol station and not yearn to swipe my card before I pump.  But somehow... someway... paying at the pump has become a long distant memory-- in the scheme of things.  But come on Australia-- you've gotta get on that horse!
One last photo here-- Sting at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony as part of his Symphonicity Tour.  AWESOME.  Though I have to admit, I think the Sydney Symphony stole the show.
So what, we had a view of the back of his head, you wanna make something of it?  We did however, have the perfect view of the symphony.
Oh yeah, who's your daddy?

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