Monday, 1 October 2012

Don't be unAustralian at Epcot

So pretend you work at Disney and you are planning the menus for the Food and Wine Festival .... 46 days and squillions of people through more than 30 different international cuisines.

What do you choose for the Australia stall?

I asked this question to my facebook followers last year and they guessed immediately - cause you know it makes sense:


It's what lies at the core of our national identity

Australian's have been eating lamb chops since the beginning of time - we rode on the sheep's back - and that includes the 3 legged ones cause Sunday roasts were compulsory.

And so the Disney chefs naturally turned to lamb as the main dish at the Australian Stall. But before we look at the lamb, what do you think the other offerings would be??

If you are an American and you are wondering about the iconic foods of Australia, what other protein source comes to mind?

Shrimp on a barbie with sweet thai chilli sauce pepperberry citrus glaze
As every American learnt in 1984, there's nothing more Australian than throwing another shrimp on the barbie.

And given today's multi-culturalism in Australia, it's probably highly accurate that the pepperberry citrus glaze tasted more like it had come from the old Mae Ploy bottle.

Oh and whilst on the subject.... am I the last person to discover that shrimps and prawns are different? An American friend broke the news very gently.

Then if you are going to serve dessert, what Aussie icon would you serve up? Pavlova - maybe? But how about something so iconic it is not seen anywhere in the US? How about a lamington?!

Born in Toowoomba in 1902 and in 2006, the National Trust of Queensland, declared lamingtons a Queensland icon! according to wikipedia
But hang on - let's take a closer look at this so called lamington. Instead of the traditional dessicated coconut, this one is covered in shredded, fresher coconut. Making for one very chewy experience.

And then for some inexplicable reason, the lamington makers seem to have missed the most important part of the lamington making process:

Making sure all 6 sides were iced!
So the lamington wasn't quite right for me.

Back to the lamb chop. Last year's lamb chop was served as a grilled chop with potato and goats cheese salad with shiraz reduction. Probably more than I would ever do to a lamb chop, but I can live with it.

The chop was beautifully cooked. Just gone pink on the inside and very juicy. My mouth is watering now with the memory! Disney made a little video sharing the recipe.

And then they sell all this food from a lovely little themed Australian styled shed:

Half Paddington Terrace and half modern indigenous
The 2012 Food and Wine Festival opened this weekend and the Australian menu has been announced - it's almost exactly the same! The only difference is how the lamb is finished. Disney have made another lovely little video and the Aussie chop hits the highlight at 1.25m. Take a look.

Exsqueeze me? Salt and vinegar potato crisps?

Have I been missing a page in my Australian Commonsense Cookery Book? (remember those NSW ladies?) Since when were we cooking with salt and vinegar crisps? I mean ... I spent childhoods at Cronulla beach eating hot chips with salt and vinegar put on them. I just never went this far.

It's enough to put Barry off his beer

Stone the crows! Chips on me chop!
I wonder how the Caribbean's feel about the authenticity of the Jerk Chicken with mango salsa?

Or the Canadians about their maple and moosehead beer glazed salmon with barley salad!

Hey Canadians - are you eating this on a daily basis?
Well ..... we've been through this before. Come to Orlando where everything is FAKE! Absolutely delicious but everything needs to be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

Note: the F&W Festival will not be on in June during the convention period. In fact no festival of any kind will be occuring.

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