A very interesting discovery is the Australian Food History Timeline – meal by meal, cafe by cafe, pot by pot, Jan O’Connell has put together all the significant events in Australia’s culinary history going back to 1770. A few morsels from the hundreds she’s assembled:
- In 1913 the first pumpkin scone recipe was published, and 1915 saw the start of 6 o’clock closing in pubs.
- In 1948 the Sunbeam Mixmaster was introduced, and the jaffle iron in 1949.
- In 1967 the first Taco Bill was founded on the Gold Coast, the same year a new ‘improved’ wine cask was launched. Two years later the first microwave oven was imported – quite a revolution!
- In 1970 the first Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook was published, and a year later the first McDonald’s opened in Sydney.
- 1984 was nominated as the ‘Year of the Sticky Date Pudding’ by journalist David Dale, and a year later the first Flat White coffee appeared.
- The Hard Rock Cafe opened in Sydney in 1990, and in 1996 Stephanie Alexander published her first Cook’s Companion cookbook, followed by Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef in 1997.
- Cupcakes ‘arrived’ in Australia in 2005, and Masterchef started on TV in 2009.
- 2010 saw the start of the macaron craze, and the launch of the Pizza Hut phone ordering app.
- 2014 saw the growth of ‘alternative milks’ like rice milk, almond milk and soy, and in 2016 Roy Morgan research showed that 11.2% of the population (1 in 9) were ‘almost vegetarian’.
- And 2017? Vegemite is back in Australian ownership and the beginning of the end of plastic bags in supermarkets…
There’s a huge pot of great trivia questions here – inspiration for a foodie fundraising event at your pub or restaurant?