I still don’t get Australian advertising. I do know that ‘the burgers are better at Hungry Jack’s’, and that ‘I feel good’ at Subway. I can reel off names like McDonald’s, Dominos, Burger King, and Chicken Treat. Not that we’re only into junk food down here, because I’m a doer, not a gunna with Burgen, McCain has done it again, and Woolworth’s are the fresh food people. There’s always Nestlé diet to make sure there isn’t going to be an express delivery of fat to my thighs – look, you need to watch the ads to know what I’m talking about.
The point I’m trying to make is that if you want to watch ads about food, you should be Down Under. If it’s not food, it’s about the 1001 EOFYS sales across the city – the End Of Financial Year, for those of you not in the know, is apparently the biggest and best not-to-be-missed opportunity to buy all those things you couldn’t afford the rest of the year. And just so you know, Myers is my store.
So are Aussies really obsessed with food? Beer certainly is very important, and so is pasta, pizza and burgers. To tell the truth, people eat anything here – Indian curry, Chinese takeaway, and Japanese sushi. I recently went to a church dinner, hoping to taste Australian cuisine, and was treated to some choice English pies and deserts.
“So what’s Australian cooking then?” I asked towards the end of the meal, my tongue probably a bit loosened by the Australian Shiraz I was drinking. Surely there was something to EAT that wasn’t off a BBQ grill or accompanied by alcohol? My companions – of English and South African descent – gave it some thought.
“Damper,” replied one gentleman and he turned to consult the Aboriginal grandma sitting at the next table. “What’s Australian food? Is it damper?” The old lady gave a firm nod. “Damper, that’s Australian.”
Damper – despite its rather wet-sounding name – is actually bread cooked on an open fire. It’s similar to Irish soda bread. How Australian is that?