Capturing the range of any large country’s cooking is a daunting task, to say nothing of Australia, which has a wide range of climates and immigrant cultures, plus an indigenous civilization that is many tens of thousands of years old. But Ross Dobson, chef and food journalist, undertakes the job with enthusiasm.
He’s also just as interested in French onion dip (no surprises in that recipe) as he is a slaw for which a town in New South Wales is nationally famous, or in Thai-influenced dishes that take advantage of the proximity of inspiration and ingredients. Not surprisingly, given the length of the country’s coast line and the concentration of its population there, seafood recipes abound. And in just about every chapter except those on sweets and desserts, one can find the influence of Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Greek, and other immigrant groups.
The divergence of American and Australian food vocabulary is noticeable (a Dagwood dog would be a corndog at any US state fair), and Dobson and his editors do a pretty good job of offering context where needed. One gets a picture of a cuisine that is evolving with abandon, but has not given up its enthusiasms for some past favorites.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.