Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise, and thanks to the huge numbers of immigrants that have swelled her numbers over the years, exotic foods from all corners of earth are standard fare at most Melbourne tables. If you have a taste for an ingredient that has not yet made its way into the mainstream, you will find it in one of the speciality stores that pepper the city.
There is no such thing as Traditional Australian Cuisine (at least from the point of view of white settlers). In the nineties, chefs finally began to access the truly traditional foods that the first Australians have been eating for forty thousand years.
Now a respectable Modern Australian menu will contain.
- A myriad of seafood options
- Kangaroo Meat (once a highly suspect and rare food item, now available in supermarkets)
- Witchety Grub (a fat, tree-dwelling insect larvae that tastes lightly nutty – and yes, like chicken)
A ‘standard’ Australian family probably won´t have a fridge full of larvae, though, tending to stick to Mediterranean-style dishes, Asian-inspired wok fried foods and more traditional English fare.
It is impossible to get away from ethnic food in Melbourne and you would be crazy to want to. Food from every continent is readily available for all budgets.
Although there are occasional stories of food poisoning in Melbourne, these are isolated and almost always one-off cases. No matter where you are in the city (whether in an affluent area or a poorer one), your food will be prepared in a sanitary way.
Shopping for food in Melbourne can either be a convenient and brightly lit homogeneous experience (in the abundance of large chain supermarkets) or a uniquely hands-on local affair. Building relationships with your local merchants is highly recomended. They will entice you to taste new produce and meats, and eventually, keep the best and freshest for you behind the counter. Whether you are a devotee of the all-in-one supermarket, a wanderer who like to browse among the smells and accents of the open-air market, or buy all your groceries from different vendors on Main Street, you’ll find exactly what you are looking for in Melbourne. The quality of fresh fruit and vegetables available for retail sale can vary enormously, though, so choosing the right market or seller is an important task.