Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Translation Tuesday -Dedicated to Bridging (or Widening) the Cultural Divide

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.



27 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know the green ones are green tree frogs and the brown ones are cane toads dont you?

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Liane. That is so NOT true.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

hehe, you had me. I thought, "I'm not working that hard for my food, especially the slimy kind." Figured I'd have to tactfully turn down a frog whenever I got out there to visit you and seriously contemplating a visit during the kitchen renovation so I wouldn't have to worry about offending your cooking because you wouldn't be able to cook! lol - now, go see my soon to be posted note about deer stew (for your cold, cold winter) and homemade ice cream. -wink- It'll take the slime factor out of your mouth.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Ummmmmm Becks, there is No way I'm eating Bambi but I'll read your post because I love you. And because icecream sounds nice.

Marg said...

Ok, do we live in the same country?
I have never ever seen those, ever!!! I was expecting Freddo Frogs (chocolate frogs), although the bit about tearing them apart seemed strange.
SA must have a whole heap of food that you keep all to yourselves. I have lived in Vic, NSW, Tas and Qld and never heard of these or Fruchocs, what else are you hiding away down there?

Marg said...

PS Welcome back, I've missed you.

Cynthia L. said...

Mrs. P. glad you are back and you are as funny as ever! Those frogs look mighty delicious! We Americans also recieved some of Englands "bad boys," but I guess they were lucky because there wasn't too much strange food for them to eat. Also the American Indian was around to help them out (and then we killed them and sent them to Oklahoma!!)

Can't wait to see what you eat on Thursday!!

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Ok Marg, here's the list ..Farmers Union Iced Coffee, anything made by Robern Menz who make Fruchocs, Balfours pasties (the best pasties EVER), Bickfords Lime Cordial, Golden North Icecream, Haigh's Chocolate, The Central Market, Pie Floaters, loads of awesome cheeses and German speciality meats. You're not missing much. We also have Maggie Beer held hostage here .

I'd send you a frog cake but it wouldnt make it without a caved in head ...and smashed frog skull is no laughing matter.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Oh, it's not Bambi! No spots at all on the doe that supplied the meat for this stew! You are safe to try it. hehehehe

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Oh and Yo Yo biscuits...and kitchener buns and bung fritz and metwurst.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Says to Beck suspiciously ...It was probably Bambi's cousin. I've never eaten deer to my knowledge. Of course my mother is a food liar so I could have. Probably disguised as cake or something.

P. said...

You are in fine form, Mrs. P! I really was anticipating a real frog (rather excitedly, I might add) as I scrolled down. But what would you expect from someone who eats venison whenever I get the chance!

Elizabeth said...

Highly amusing as usual! I missed your witty posts. I hope you got lots of sewing done, though.

Sarcastic Quilter said...

Don't think she disguised it in cake but perhaps on a sandwich under some of that yeasty tar you eat! lol I won't make you eat deer but you must try it's cousin Elk one day...

Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path said...

So funny. You had me going for a little while.
Bren

vawriter said...

Oh, I am SOOOOO relieved! Adorable Kermits, not slimy upchuck-inducers. You had me going, I admit.

Have you tried pickled pigs feet? Theiy look exactly like what they are.

AnnieO said...

You definitely had me on the hook, Shay! Followed quickly by line and stinker, I mean sinker. Very clever fishing there!

Pink and white frogs at a wedding...definitely only in Australia. Maybe only you? Too funny.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Mrs. P. I love you. I want some of those frog cakes, too. America, similarly, was once a handy place to send convicts.

Marg said...

Thanks Shay, some foods we do have in common, Bickford's Lime Cordial, Farmers Union Iced Coffee, beautiful cheeses and German meats, yo yo biscuits, anything by Maggie Beer, yuuuummmmmmm, and of course, Haigh's chocolates, they are THE best. Haven't seen or heard of a kitchener bun.
Pie floaters, now they go in the same group as vegemite, although probably not quite as gross. I am thinking there is a worse group of food stuffs, pickled pig's feet, elk, hmmmmmmmm.
I love your frog wedding cake,another........... only in SA, but a great idea, so cute!

quiltfool said...

That frog looks delish! can't say I've ever eaten one of the real ones. Not even the legs. Lane

Michelle said...

Fascinating post! Yes, you Aussies do eat some unusual things, but when you said the head was best section was the head pulled apart with your bare hands, I was pretty sure, you were having fun with us. :-)

Uh, I've tasted vegemite. Had an Australian pen pal when I was in high school and she blessed me with a sample. The kindest thing I can say about it is that it must be a "developed" taste. Ahem. :-)

Lorraine said...

One of my many MILs along my journey used to buy me frog cakes because she knew I loved them....always think of her when I see them now....and aren't I lucky to have Maggie Beer in my "backyard" so to speak!

lw said...

I've eaten frog legs (at the home of Quebecois relatives-- but these were deep fried, not garlic buttered.) I've also eaten meat pies (I've had to learn to make my own, they're the best,) pie floaters, Haigh's chocolate, venison, alligator, kangaroo. I haven't had the courage to try vegemite yet, but I'm planning to when the opportunity presents itself.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

That got everyone talking didn't it...I thought you were talking about those yummy red and green frogs, they are good too :-)

Dee said...

Okay I'm a bit behind on reading your posts, but frog cakes are just soooo SA aren't they ?
Victorians do have yo-yos but they are homemade and nothing like the real thing.
Mention mettwurst in Vic and they have no idea what you are talking about, same with bung fritz ( no NOT devon). We do have a local bakery that is run by asians that makes good kitchener buns. Just thought of another one -fingerbuns. In Vic they don't have sultanas and the icing is soft and gooey and blah. Time to stop, I'm getting hungry... lol

Jindi's Cottage said...

Sooo funny...I was expecting the green frog to be by Allens, you know, the lolly kind that also comes in red and a freddo...not green frog cakes. I've seen them in Victoria somewhere....just can't remember where but I have seen them. Oh Haigh's chocolate...that makes me want to work in the City (Melbourne) again so I can go to the Block Arcade and the Haigh's shop on a regular basis...yuuuuummmmmm. Those overseas bods who can't fathom vegemite...well you just have to feel sorry for them really...I was SO excited to find it in Kilkenny when I was in Ireland as I had managed to leave the country without my supply...I know, what was I thinking!!!!

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