As we said multiple times in our reviews, cookbooks are a fantastic way to discover new cultures and traditions. To prove you that, today we decided to bring you Australia: The Cookbook Review.
Australia is a true melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in its cooking. As an island of indigenous peoples alongside a global panoply of immigrants with different culinary influences and traditions, its foodways are ripe for exploration. As well as the regional flora and fauna that make up bush tucker, there are dishes from all over the world that have been adopted and adapted to become Australia's own.
In his newest cookbook, Australia: The Cookbook, Ross Dobson spans 50,000 years and 350 recipes showcasing the rich diversity of Australia's landscape and people.
Ross Dobson is an Australian food writer, stylist and chef, that is known for his cafés and restaurants in the Western suburbs of Sydney. He cooks classic and contemporary Australian food and is passionate about its place in history alongside its more modern influences. This passion is evident in his newest cookbook, as he put together an incredible collection of recipes that capture the true essence of Australia.
The first section of Australia: The Cookbook gives us a brief but very interesting introduction to Australian cuisine. Here you'll get to know more about its immigrants, climate, agriculture, viticulture, and a few other things that make this a must-read section for any foodie. Following, you will find another interesting section about Aboriginal Australian native bush food. Indigenous ingredients include Davidson's plum, found in rainforest areas of Australia, which has an "acidic, salty taste"; the desert quandong (which in Dobson's grandmother's Barkandji language is called a Karnpuka Pintyinya), a versatile red fruit that can be used in sweet and sour dishes; and, of course, kangaroo.
Skipping the main section of this book, that we'll talk about just in a few moments, just before the book ends, you will have a section of guest chef recipes, from Dan Hunter, owner of Brae in Birregurra, Victoria; Mark Olive, founder of Dapbeto's Midden in Dapto, New South Wales; and O Tama Carey, owner of Lankan Filling Station in Sydney.
Now let's talk about the main section, the recipes. If there is something that this book has is a huge collection of recipes. As we already mention, Australia: The Cookbook has 350 recipes, ranging from all kinds of foods. You'll find sections for eggs and dairy, fish and seafood, pork, beef and lamb, cakes and pastries, desserts, and a lot more. Throughout these different sections, you will find a lot of classic dishes such as Chicken Parmigiana, Meat Pies, Rissoles (along with a reference to the cult Australian film The Castle), Anzac Biscuits and Lamingtons or ‘lammos'. Lesser-known specialties are also featured, such as Queensland Blue Pumpkin Soup, Stir-Fried Native Greens, and Kumquat Marmalade.
As people who have never been to Australia, there are quite a few recipes and ingredients that we have never heard of. In fact, there are even some ingredients that are impossible to get if you live outside of Australia. But this doesn't mean that we don't like this book, in fact, these are some of the reasons why we really liked this book so much. As we said at the begging of this review, cookbooks are a fantastic way to discover new cultures and traditions, and this is exactly what happened with Australia: The Cookbook.
Yes, we will not be able to reproduce all the recipes in this book but to be honest we believe that this is not the main objective of this book. For us, the main goal is not to get everyone making its 350 recipes, but rather to show the world one of the most exciting and vibrant cuisines in the world.
At this point, you already know how much we enjoy Australia: The Cookbook. This book will take you on an exciting journey through the diverse Australia's food culture is. If you are like us and love to discover new cultures and traditions, you should definitely take a look at this book.
Australia: The Cookbook puts together an excellent collection of recipes that celebrates one of the most unique and highly varied cuisines in the world.