A Taste of Oz
Last week, I took a trip to Australia while waiting for my lunch to heat up in the microwave. Standing in the NG cafeteria, I noticed with surprise the package the man next to me was holding.
“Oh my gosh, you have Tim Tams!”
My new friend grinned and revealed to me that he got these Aussie cookie treats (known in the Land Down Under as “chocolate biscuits”) at D.C.’s E Street Cinema. We shared recollections of eating this heavenly délice across the world, and he gave me one. At the first bite, my memory rocketed back to the tastes of teatime at my elementary school in Sydney.
So I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you, IT readers. What can’t be found here in the U.S. can be purchased online and shipped, although my suggestion is to head to Australia and try them firsthand. For a true Aussie experience, here are some snack foods you just shouldn’t miss:
Tim Tams. By far the most well-known and delicious chocolate biscuit, Tim Tams are produced by the Arnott’s company. They come in flavors like Chewy Caramel, classic Dark, and Latte, and share a general theme of two crispy wafers surrounding a creamy filling, the whole thing covered in a layer of velvety chocolate. You can even use the biscuit (or “biccie”) as a straw to suck up hot chocolate or milk—a trick known as the “Tim Tam Slam.”
Lift and Squash. Although it sounds like an uncomfortable sport, these are actually two of the country’s most refreshing drinks. Lift is a lemon-flavored soda similar to Sprite, although it’s more flavorful, being sweetened with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Squash is Australia’s answer to lemonade, and it can vary depending on where you get it.
Smith’s Potato Chips, Chicken Flavor—Chicken-flavored potato chips, you ask? To which I answer a resounding yes. This equivalent of America’s Lay’s company produces several varieties of chips, including most of the standards, but the chicken flavor is perhaps the most authentic. Its sweet and spicy saltiness is something you won’t find in the U.S., although a somewhat similar chicken taste can be found in America’s Chicken in a Biskit cracker.
Ribena Blackcurrant Cordial—Currant, a black or red
- Nat Geo Expeditions
berry-size fruit, tastes a bit like grape but is more intense and tangy. It is used widely in candy, cereal, and granola bars, but perhaps the most typically Australian way to take your currant is in a cordial—a syrup that, when mixed with water, produces a fruity drink.
Cadbury’s Cherry Ripe Chocolate Bar—Cadbury, originally from Britain, has become Australia’s major chocolate company. Here it takes on a mythic role much like Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s England, producing almost every variety of chocolate bar imaginable. The Cherry Ripe bar is one of the fantastic chocolate creations and, according to its website, is “Australia’s oldest and most loved chocolate bar.” Dark chocolate draped over juicy cherries and coconut—yum!
Photo: Tatiana Damberg via Flickr photo pool