Bold Palates – Australia’s Gastronomic Heritage
By Barbara Santich. Illustrated hardback. Wakefield Press 2012. $50.
This excellent book traces the post European settlement history of Australian food and cuisine. Bush tucker, pumpkin scones, picnic races, the Aussie BBQ, mutton chops, pies ‘n’sauce – it’s all there, and more. The test is peppered with excerpts from old books and newspapers and larded with photographs and retro illustrations.
Most fascinating to me is the chapter on our national cuisine. Way back then and to this day it seems no-one can agree on whether we have one or not. Judging by local Queensland menus “Modern Australian” is a cross between Surf ‘n’Turf or possibly Mooloolaba prawns followed by slow-cooked pork belly.
If you’re looking for a gift for a foodie you can’t go past this. In fact it is just the book that I would unwrap with delight.