10 Must-Try Traditional South Australian Dishes

10 MustTry Traditional South Australian Dishes

Bobotie is a South African dish blending layers of meat and spices. It’s often served at rugby, cricket and football matches or eaten on long road trips.

Unlike most oysters, Coffin Bay king oysters are grown for up to seven years in pristine waters. These colossal shellfish are meatier and taste richer.

1. Chikos

Invented by Frank McEncroe, a boilermaker from Bendigo in the 1950s, Chiko Rolls are Australia’s answer to Chinese spring rolls and egg rolls. They’re a deep fried fast food with a thick, almost chewy dough wrapper, filled with carrots, cabbage, barley, rice, mutton and seasoning.

He trialed them at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show in 1951 and they were an instant hit. He then set up a factory at North Essendon to produce them in bulk, selling them frozen to fish and chip shops who reheated them and served them in their trademark sleeve.

A Chiko’s cheek flufff matches its magic type, with each individual roll having its own unique color. Mundane Chikos carry a latent magic type from their ancestors, which they pass on to other Chiko’s through splicing. These Chikos are family-oriented and possess a high amount of tact.

2. Kangaroo

Kangaroo is a meat that can be grilled, roasted or fried. It’s very lean, so be careful not to overcook it, or you will have tough chewy meat. It is high in iron and potassium.

Kangaroos (Macropods) are a family of mammals that includes kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, quokkas, potoroos and tree kangaroos. They are the largest land-based mammals and are native to Australia.

A female kangaroo has a pouch on her abdomen that cradles baby kangaroos called joeys. When a joey is born it is naked, blind and helpless and climbs into its mother’s pouch. A joey stays in the pouch until it is 18 months old. Besides humans and wild dogs, kangaroos have few natural predators. They live in groups, called mobs by Australians, made up of a female and her offspring along with one or two males.

3. Emu

Emus are large, tough flightless birds found in most of Australia. They resemble Ostriches but are smaller, lower and have 3 toes on each foot (Ostriches have only 2 toes). Emus were an important source of food for Aboriginal people in the areas where they occurred. They also feature in a number of creation myths including the Yuwaalaraay, who claim that the sun was made by throwing an emu’s egg into the sky.

Emu steaks and filets can be prepared as you would beef and should be cooked to rare or medium rare for best flavor. They can also be roasted, stewed or stir fried. Add a dry rub or marinade to add additional flavor before cooking. It is best to cook emu quickly, as it can dry out and become tough with over cooking. It cooks much faster than beef.

4. Lamb Cutlets

Lamb is a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is sweet, delicate and meltingly tender and is particularly delicious when cooked a very rare (it’s criminal to go beyond medium).

Lamb cutlets are easy to prepare, cook quickly and can be made at home for a quick and tasty dinner any night of the week. They’re also a good choice for prepping ahead of time, as they can be prepared and refrigerated for as long as a day or two.

To cook, heat a frypan or grill pan to high-medium and add a splash of oil to the pan. Add the chops and season with salt and pepper. Cook one side until the first sign of moisture appears and then turn and cook the other side. Ensure you test for doneness – rare is soft when pressed, medium is springy and well done is very firm.

5. Pavlova

The decadent meringue dessert named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920’s is both light and fluffy, with a crisp outer shell and marshmallow-like center.

To create a classic pavlova, chefs recommend beating egg whites to stiff peaks before folding in sugar and cornstarch. Egg whites don’t like grease – too much will prevent them from whisking properly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and create a large circle about 8 inches in diameter. Spoon meringue into a round pile in the center, creating a shallow dip in the middle. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, then turn oven off and cool in the oven. Serve topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. (This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator). For a tropical twist, try mango and kiwi.

7. Haigh’s Chocolate

Haigh’s is Australia’s oldest family owned chocolate manufacturer making fine chocolate from the cocoa bean since 1915. Haigh’s chocolate is sold at their 14 stores in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney or online.

The company’s heritage is evident at the Parkside factory which is open for free guided tours of its facilities. You can see how chocolate is made at every stage from the raw cocoa beans, carefully selected from plantations around the world, to the quality products produced and sold at Haigh’s.

Haigh’s is committed to sustainability and was the first Australian chocolate manufacturer to achieve international UTZ certification for the use of ethically and sustainably farmed cocoa beans in their products. UTZ is the leading sustainable supply chain program that spans cocoa-growing countries from West Africa to South America. The company also produces Single Origin chocolates which feature flavour characteristics unique to the variety and region from where they are sourced.

8. Balfour’s Frogcakes

A South Australian icon, frog cakes are sponge or genoise cake squares with a layer of jam topped with a dome of very sweet (butter)cream and covered in fondant icing. The dome is slashed to form the mouth shape and two eyes piped on. They’re often green but can also be brown or pink.

These tasty treats are often sold at food halls and other places around town. City Cross Balfours cafe manager Karen Sim Jong said green frog cakes are the best-selling product at her Rundle Mall shop, behind custard tarts and chocolate doughnuts.

These cakes are high in fat and sugar and therefore should be eaten only occasionally. They should be avoided by diabetic patients and those with heart diseases. The Danish version of this dish, known as a Kajkage or frog cake, has a macaron base instead of sponge and is covered in green marzipan rather than fondant.

9. Whisk Creamery

Whisk Creamery is a family-owned gelato business that brings the traditional Italian recipe to Perth. They have two locations in Subiaco and Northbridge. With a menu of new flavours to try, each dessert is made by hand daily with the freshest ingredients.

Bung fritz sausage is a popular South Australian meat product. It is similar to Devon sausage, but it has higher-quality ingredients. The key ingredient is the sheep’s appendix, which gives the sausage its natural casing.

A pie floater is a dish consisting of a traditional Australian meat pie submerged upside-down in green pea soup. This is a popular dish, particularly in Adelaide and Sydney. It is a hearty meal that is best enjoyed in the cold weather. It can be served with a cup of tea or coffee. It is a classic that is not to be missed.

10. Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread is a colorful, simple, and fun snack often served at children’s birthday parties in Australia. It is made by spreading butter on a piece of white bread, then scattering or heaping on multicolored sprinkles (also known as “Hundreds and Thousands” but we prefer to call them nonpareils) over the surface of the butter. The bread is then cut into triangles. The crusts are usually left on, a practice that makes it easier for kids to hold and eat without getting their hands messy.

While some adults enjoy this snack as well, it is mostly a nostalgic treat that reminds Australians of their childhoods. It can be prepared in minutes with only three ingredients and is sure to brighten anyone’s day. It would be a shame to miss out on this delightful snack! It even made an appearance in the coming-of-age movie Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger.