Australia's Food History

Timeline created by jermeabj_13
In History
  • Before The Colonists

    Before The Colonists
    The Indigenous people had lived in Australia for hundreds of thousands of years before the English Settlers arrived at Botany Bay. They survived on Australian bush flora and fauna including kangaroo, fish and berries. Vastly spiritual and much of their lifestyle knowledge was passed down from generation to generation.
  • The Settlers

    The Settlers
    This is when the First Fleet had embarked on exploration trips in Botany Bay. The British consumed primarily basic staple foods like wheat, millet, and potatoes. But the natural growth around them wasn't recognised. The Indigenous peoples were hunter gatherers, and they understood the land. Unfortunately, the settlers did not.
  • The Settlers and Food

    The Settlers and Food
    The British didn't understand how food was well provided by the Australian land. They were blind to what stood before them, their only interest being the native fish. Because they were more interested in planting imported produce, the British had more of an agricultural approach. Eventually their rations were simplified to salt meat, flour , sugar, tea, and excessive spirits.
  • 'Squatters"

    Around this time, 'squatters' or relatively prosperous explorers who acquired expensive stock, captured a large expanse of land and paid in rations for male workers. Their weekly rations were traditionally 4.5 kg of meat, 4.5 kg of rice, 1 kg of sugar and 100 g of tea.
  • The Refrigerator

    The Refrigerator
    The first mechanical refrigerator was developed by James Harrison from Geelong. Although it wouldn't be widespread until the 1920s.
  • Introduction to Recipes

    Introduction to Recipes
    Two pages published in an immigrants guide written by Caroline Chisholm in 1853, were the only significant recipes until 1864. She segregated the weekly rations into seven sections mixing meat and flour in seven different forms.
  • It's Been A Century

    It's Been A Century
    Colonial Australia has been heavily dependent on imports over the past century, but at this time the railways have helped supply wheat, milk , sugar and irrigated fruit. In the suburbs, there would be regular visits by the butcher, grocer, greengrocer and ice-carters to give people their produce.
  • Introduction Of Beer

    Introduction Of Beer
    Foster's beer had been brewed by Americans during this time. Beer was then introduced to Australia, so evolved our national beverage.
  • Chinese Cuisine

    Chinese Cuisine
    By 1890, one third of all Australian cooks were Chinese, establishing "cookshops" to serve chinese diggers a hot meal from other businesses' backrooms. Many Chinese settlers came from the Guangdong Province of Southern China, and Cantonese food had been on the menu. So no doubt the cooks gradually served people from all nationalities, not just the Chinese.
  • Increase In Baking

    Increase In Baking
    The era ensued a lot of new bakeries. The use of desiccated coconut had now become a craze that makes an appearance in lamingtons. At this time they invented and popularised Anzac biscuits, pumpkin scones, and Pavlova.
  • Vegemite

    Vegemite was introduced to Australia
  • Supermarkets

    Home deliveries became less common around this time as did T.E. Wardle pioneering the trend replaced it with Cars carrying a load back home from the supermarket.
  • Dairy Farms and Refrigeration

    Dairy Farms and Refrigeration
    Australia had 83,000 dairy farms, and By 1956, 73% of metropolitan homes had a fridge.
  • Fast Food

    It wasn't until the late seventies that Australians really turned to fast food. Families still had rarely removed meals during this time, instead opting for a home-cooked meal with vegetables, instead of the greasy hamburgers and fries on McDonald's offer. Such meals were seen as a treat, and for fish and chips, Friday was typically the night. They wrapped it up in the newspaper and were eaten straight out of it.
  • Fast Food Becomes Mainstream

    Fast Food Becomes Mainstream
    Fast food and takeaway chains such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut arrived in the late 1960s.
  • Today

    Australian meals today are much more diverse than before, inspired by aisles of cheap ingredients, a platter of cultures and a menu of rejuvenated food interest. In the conventional sense we have inherited no cuisine unlike other societies with a dominant agrarian background. Instead, Australia 's food past was complex, urban, commercial, science and capitalist oriented.
  • Period: to

    Other Cuisines

    Many people migrated to Europe throughout this time and learned to appreciate French, Italian, Greek and other traditional cuisine.
  • Period: to

    Growth And Expansion Of Dairy Farms

    In Australia, there were about one million dairy cows. The gold rush had brought Australia thousands of people. With its decline, several pastoral leases on the outskirts of inland towns were offered to government, and the spread of dairy farming began. By the 2000's, there was hardly an Australian settlement that didn't have its own fresh milk, except in the outback.