We all know that our antipodean friends are second to none when it comes to cooking up a barbeque, but they also have some classic snacks that we are less familiar with here in the UK. Here are some nibbles that you might find if you drop into an Aussie or Kiwi cafè or supermarket.
Tims Tams are two layers of biscuit with a chocolate cream filling and a thin chocolate coating, much like a Penguin bar. There’s no doubt that the manufacturers, Aussie company Arnott’s Biscuits, were inspired by the McVities much loved classic bar when they cooked up the recipe in 1964. The name is taken from the winner of the 1958 Kentucky Derby.
However, aficionados assure us that there are some differences between them…The Tim Tam bar is slightly shorter than the Penguin by about a centimetre. It is also reported to contain less sugar so that the cocoa flavour is more distinct, and has a smoother texture. Maybe the best way to compare them is to get hold of a Tim Tam and try it for yourself!
Where the Tim Tam really comes into its own is with the variety of flavours. While Penguin bars are available in mint and orange variations, the Tim Tam is far more adventurous. Popular twists on the classic bar include chewy caramel, dark chocolate and raspberry tart, salted caramel brownie, and white chocolate.
The biscuit is the ideal coffee break snack, and this has led to the phenomenon of the Tim Tam Slam, which involves drinking a hot beverage through the softened centre of the biscuit like a straw! The ends of the Tim Tam are bitten off first, and then one end is dunked in the cuppa. Eventually the whole biscuit melts and has to be eaten fast.
Tim Tams are so popular in Australia that there is even a national Tim Tam day on 16 February every year. The country munches through 45 million packets of Tim Tams every year, and the brand is also successful in East Asia, South Africa, and the USA.
For fans of savoury snacks, a classic Aussie take is the snag. Also known as a sausage sizzle, it’s basically a thick pork or beef sausage cooked on a grill and served on a slice of white bread with onions and tomato sauce. It can be eaten as a snack, a main meal, or as a side dish, and there are many variations of this barbeque staple.
A lamington is a traditional Australian cake. It’s a bite-sized square of sponge that contains chocolate, coconut cream, and jam, and is glazed in coconut shavings. A small and extremely delicious accompaniment to freshly brewed coffee.
Whittaker’s is New Zealand’s foremost chocolate manufacturer and was founded in 1896. One of their best loved products is the Peanut Slab, which contains crunchy roasted peanuts and smooth cocoa milk chocolate.
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