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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1763

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AUSTRALIAN COOKERY

 
CHAPTER LVI
 

The Cookery in Australia is of course English in character, while in the hotels the French cuisine plays a prominent part just as it does here. The various dishes which are peculiar to the country are those obtained from animals and fruits indigenous to the soil, such as Kangaroo-tail Soup.

The Food Supply of Australia is excellent and abundant. In the towns the price of mutton varies from 3d. to 4d. per lb., and beef from 4d. to 6d. Up country it is cheaper, so cheap, indeed, that the skin is the more valuable part of the animal, and much of the meat is wasted or given to the dogs, the best parts alone being eaten.

Australian Fish is plentiful and good, and includes nearly all the varieties esteemed in England except the sole, which is not found in any Australian waters; but there are many other varieties unknown in England, such as trumpeter, schnapper, flathead, barracouta, etc. Although the coast and rivers abound in fish, the supply in the market is not plentiful, consequently fish is very expensive, a fact which no doubt explains the excessive use of meat in a climate where a diet comprised almost entirely of such food is undesirable. Fresh water fish are most abundant in both creeks and rivers; fresh water cod especially, a delicately-flavoured fish, generally considered superior to the cod fish found on our coasts. Oyster beds are abundant in many parts of Australia, consequently this highly-esteemed bivalve is too cheap to be considered a luxury as it is in England.

Vegetables grow abundantly in most parts of Australia, and in addition to the varieties common in England, there are many unknown to us. Sour sop, a fruit which in its ripe condition resembles the custard apple, may in its green state be cooked and served as a vegetable. Paw paw also serves the double purpose of fruit and vegetable, for it is equally excellent boiled while in a green, unripe condition and served with white sauce, or eaten when ripe with wine and sugar. The choko is a vegetable little known, although it grows freely in many parts of Australia, It is excellent plainly boiled and served with white sauce.

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