Looking for some cheap and cheerful souvenirs from Australia? Maybe your looking for something edible for your foodie friends, or that can be shared among a group? Here’s 10 souvenirs you can pick up at an Aussie supermarket. If you’re looking for more of a keepsake, check out the top Australian souvenirs in this post.
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In Australia, “chips” is a catchall term for snacks made of potatoes, whether it be fries or crisps (see here for more on how to decipher Aussie food lingo). Being a Commonwealth country, Australia has taken quite a few food cues from Britain. We love our Smith’s chips, in fact, a recent survey found it’s Australia’s favourite chip brand with Original (salted) and Salt & Vinegar being by far the most popular flavours. For an all-Aussie original, go for Thins or Samboys instead. Twisties are another local invention – familiar to North American’s as a kind of cheese curl.
I’ve been surprised to find Milo in many of the places we’ve travelled around the world. However, the recipe is often tweaked for local taste buds. If you want the one and only original, pick yourself up a can of our beloved malty, milk drink while you’re Downunder. Milo was developed during the economic depression of the 1930s with the aim of providing an affordable source of vitamins and minerals in a tonic that kids would actually want to drink. Milo can be served as a hot or cold drink stirred into milk, but secretly it’s one of those foods we love to eat by the spoonful right out of the tin!
Cherry Ripe claims to be one of Australia’s oldest chocolate bars, having been introduced in the 1920s by a local confectioner. Though now owned by British brand Cadbury’s, the dark chocolate covered cherry and coconut bar is still Aussies’ most cherished. Second up, we love a Crunchie, which is actually the international imitation of the Australian-original, Violet Crumble which are harder to find these days. The bar is a simple chocolate-covered block of honeycomb (aka sponge candy, hokey pokey, cinder toffee and various other names around the world).
Biscuits and crackers
Biscuits (i.e. cookies to our American friends) are up next. According to Arnott’s, 95% of Australian homes contain their products. Though our quintessential biscuit brand is now owned by a US-based equity firm, they still make our most coveted bickies… Iced VoVos, Kingstons, Tim Tams, Tiny Teddies (for the kids), Mint Slice and more. Look for Arnott’s red packaging and you’re almost sure to pick up a sweet souvenir from Australia.
On the savoury side, try Shapes flavoured crackers. Divert from the many test flavours, especially around Australia Day (January 26) and stick with the tried and trusted “Originals” Barbeque and Pizza flavoured versions.
Kangaroo jerky is a lot easier to get through customs than fresh meat. If you’re looking for a way to take home our national animal, then this is a great option.
Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. In fact, macadamias are our only native food that has been developed as a commercial crop. Though probably one of the pricier items on this list, they are worth every penny. Their creamy kernels are lovely salted as a snack, or pick up unsalted nuts if you want to use them in baked goods – white chocolate and macadamias are always a winning combo.
Bush spice seasoning
Take a home chef a bottle of Masterfoods Bush Spice Seasoning. Recommend for use with red meats, the mix of onion, celery, lemon myrtle and wattle seed will add an Aussie touch to food back home. There are many Australian-owned brands that produce similar if not better seasonings, however, I mention Masterfoods brand here because it is reliably available in most big Australian supermarkets.
Vegemite. I wrote it here, and I will write it again. Vegemite is not for the faint-hearted. No one that was not born and raised on the stuff usually acquires a taste for it in adulthood. I would recommend steering clear unless you’re trying to play a prank on someone, or you just want if for the jar.
Aussies know a thing or two about sun protection. In the 1940s a local pharmaceutical company developed what we colloquially refer to as “zinc”, a thick cream made with zinc oxide which works as a sunblock. It is usually applied as added protection on the most vulnerable parts of the face, especially across the nose and under the eyes, over the top of regular sunscreen. You might see kids on the beach with faces painted up with zinc in fluorescent colours or Australian spectators at international sporting matches wearing green and yellow zinc. Zinc can usually be bought in sticks from supermarkets.