Australian's eat weird things. It's an indisputable fact. In Australia we have emu burgers, you really can buy crocodile kebabs, and you can even buy chocolate covered ants here . I guess this eating anything thing is now inbred into our genetics. We even eat sharks if they don't eat us first.
I know I said that my next Translation Tuesday post wouldn’t be about food and I do have another one lined up that is about non edible stuff , but this post is crying out to be written. I feel the need to confess one of my wierd food habits. Since we're friends and all.
Back in 1788 Merry Old England had a law and order problem with full jails and a lot of poor people who were stealing bread to feed their families. You could get 7 years jail for flogging a loaf of bread back then. Perhaps it was gold dipped bread- I dont know. 7 years certainly seems excessive. I could steal a BMW now and probably get cannonised for my efforts. Anyway, the English government of the time decided to banish their poor and lawless to the other side of the earth as convict labour to settle Australia, a harsh and forbidding land, figuring the chances were slim any of those people would ever be able to afford to set sail back to England again even when their time was served. If they survived. There are lots of nasty creatures in Australia, but that is fodder for another amusing blog post. Transportation to the colonies was a novel way of getting rid of your scumbags once and for all. I'm pretty sure Canada shipped a few convicts over here as well. And if convicts died of scurvy, dysentry or some other awful disease that liked to run rampant on ships where people lived in close quarters and pretty revolting conditions on the 4 month journey who really gave a rats?
These people became known as Australians. Australia now numbers around 20 million scumbags, and is a way cooler place to live than England, (although possibly not better than Canada) as evidenced by all the British people who want to emigrate here. And that's because we have beaches, and soft white sand, the outback, cute koalas , the Australian Football League, meat pies, awesome weather even in winter even though we all complain about the cold (anything below 60F here is cold) , and we have really really cool accents. Sucked in England.
The first fleet to set sail to Australia woefully under planned. They brought rum, which explains our love of alcohol, about 1000 convicts and 44 sheep, one hoe, a handful of seeds, 4 cows and clothes for cold weather. That was about it. When they finally got here they were quick to run out of food. There were no McDonald’s in those days and nobody could pop home to their Mum's for dinner because Mum was back in England. So began the Australian custom of eating weird stuff like kangaroo stew, emu fries , snake pies, and echidna burgers. OK, I took a little bit of poetic licence there but basically if you could run it down you ate. If you couldn’t you starved. Life was tough.
Fast forward to a time when you don’t have to catch your own food and we’ve picked the convict boat splinters out of our national psyche. We still eat weird things. Who in their right mind would eat Vegemite unless they were dared to? (Cynthia - I have to say that video NEVER gets old. I've sent it to everyone in my address book. It still makes me snort coffee through my nose every single time I watch it. )
One delicacy here is frogs, although I think that might only apply to my corner of Australia. Those wussy French people only eat the legs. Pussies. Plus they smother theirs in butter and garlic sauce to disguise the taste. We eat the WHOLE frog, a la natural. I swear. In fact I ate a whole frog last night, and I decided to take a picture to prove it to you.
I myself am not fussy , I prefer green frogs , but I’ll eat brown if it’s the only type available. The absolute best part is the head. And the only way to eat them is to pull it apart with your bare hands, eat it in two sections and save the head for last.
I get that by now many of you are completely grossed out and are considering dumping me from your blog roll. Why would anyone eat a sweet innocent frog? And aren't some of those frogs endangered species? Calm down - we dont eat the almost extinct ones. We do have some understanding of ecological balance. And there is a raging market in breeding these frogs for human consumption. Supply and demand my friends - supply and demand.
If you're sqeamish - look away now. If you aren't, scroll down ....
Every single one of you is still here arent you? Waiting to see what stunt I'm going to pull.....It's like a train crash - you can't look away.
Here is the frog I ate last night
And here are the frogs we served at our wedding .
As if I'd eat a real frog. Bless you Balfours for making these frog cakes, which are my absolute favourites.
Happy Translation Tuesday. I'm back.