“Tucker” is the Aussie word for food. Because of Australia's many immigrant communities, many of the dishes have European and Asian influences including Asian, Greek, Italian and Thai dishes. The unofficial national dish is the Great Australian Meat Pie. A variation of this is found in Adelaide called a “Pie Floater” or “Adelaide Floater” made from a meat pie floating in a small sea of split pea soup. Surprisingly good, this dish is associated with Adelaide, and is not common throughout Australia. The Aborigines traditionally ground various seeds to make flour for a type of bread. Early settlers learned the technique and called the bread "damper." Kangaroo meat is another Aboriginal delicacy.
Australians' eating habits reflect their British heritage. A traditional breakfast may include fruit or juice, cold cereal or hot porridge, fried eggs and sausages, with hot tea or coffee. Toast may be spread with Vegemite, a concentrated yeast extract. For more leisurely breakfasts, some people enjoy baked beans, spaghetti, or minced meat on toast.
The noon meal is usually quite light. Most people eat sandwiches during the workweek. Other lunch foods include Australian meat pies (a flaky pastry filled with ground beef mixed in spices) and sausage rolls with hot chips (French fries). Children enjoy milk flavored with vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, peppermint, or spearmint. An afternoon snack may feature lamingtons (small sponge cakes with chocolate frosting and coconut) or pikelets (small pancakes) and tea.
A typical dinner consists of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. Most families have barbecues and often grill their meat. One specialty is steak stuffed with oysters. The array of available seafood includes lobsters, Sydney rock oysters, barramundi fish, mud crabs, crayfish, prawns, and snapper.
Dessert is often fresh fruit, such as bananas, mangoes, pawpaws (papayas), pineapples, pears, apples, and citrus fruit. Custard is also a popular dessert. Another well-known dessert is pavlova, made with meringue, cream and fruit. The name honors the ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia in the 1920s.