The Russell Crowe of desserts, the origin of this delicacy has been long-disputed between Aussies and Kiwis. For the purposes of this list, we’re going to claim it as our own. Made with meringue and topped with plenty of cream and fresh fruit, pavlova is a light and fluffy alternative to heavier cakes. Pavlova is a bit of an acquired taste, but you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to feature in every Christmas spread. You can always pick off the fruit if you’re not into cake!
A borrowed tradition from our friends north of the equator, you either love it or hate it. We for one, are huge fans of this succelent dessert packed with dried fruits, and love the little kick of the booze (or big kick, if Nan or Aunt Helen was liberal with the brandy). Of course, coating it with plenty of custard makes for a wicked treat, especially when you start to get peckish at night and peruse the leftovers. Whether you’re yay or nay to this dessert, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without it. It's literally in the name!
Another boozy dessert we’ve had to borrow from our colonisers, the layered yumminess of trifle is the perfect way to round off a mega Christmas lunch. A quality Christmas trifle takes time and love to prepare, but it’s always worth it. The world is pretty much your oyster when it comes to ingredients, but as long as it has jelly, cream and fresh fruit, you can catch us trying our best to save room during lunch so we can scoff down some of this sweet treat.
Is there anything better with breaking down a big feed with some of the best fruit the universe has to offer? It’s the time of year when Australia's famous mangoes and cherries are right in season, so a Christmas spread is not complete without fresh fruit. An elaborate fruit platter - probably brought by someone in your family who can't cook – is the centrepiece of the Christmas desserts spread. Dare we say..it's the cherry on top.
Or maybe you call it "gratin"? Or are you part of the "scalloped potatoes" camp?! There is no one word for this delicious side with its true name being a hot topic of debate amongst Australians since the beginning of time. Seriously, the arguments get heated. But one thing we can all agree on, it’s delicious. Potatoes. Breadcrumbs. Cream. Cheese. Butter. It’s chock-a-block full of carby goodness. Go on, treat yourself to a hearty portion. It’s Christmas, after all.
It’s no secret that we love a drink in the land Down Under. But there’s something about a bevvie or two or three on Christmas Day that feels so right. Christmas is one of the days everyone of drinking age in the family can get around a mimosa or VB, grandmothers included. It’s also a great option when you don’t know what to bring but don’t want to turn up empty handed. Rock up to Chrissie lunch towing a case or a couple of bottles of champagne, and people will love you just as much as they love the legend who cooked the ham.
Chicken thighs? Lamb skewers? Mini steaks? Maybe you go full on Aussie and sizzle a few snags? However you do it, most families are definitely firing up the barbie on December 25. We have some of the best quality meat in the world and Christmas Day is an excuse to eat alllll the meat. We’re usually all drowning in our sweat this time of year, so sitting in the fresh air amongst the sounds of sizzling meat and Australian birds chirping away makes for the perfect Christmas setting.
As we said, it is way too hot to be slaving in front of an oven on Christmas Day. In Australia, Christmas ham is prepared a few days in advance and is served cold. Same deal with turkey. Everyone always eats their fill, with your Uncle Brian usually fitting in thirds or fourths. However, there’s still always plenty left over, so you can be damn sure you’ll be eating it in sandwiches for the next month. And you’ll be perfectly fine with that, because it’s delicious. Honestly, our mouths are watering already.
Australian seafood must be tasted to be believed. We love treating ourselves to some luxurious oysters on this special day. Cool and crisp, they make for perfect appetisers on a hot summer’s day. If Christmas Day isn't the time to splurge, when is? Any Aussie oyster lover will no doubt be familiar with the standoff between family members when there’s only one delicious mollusc left. Our advice, just do it. We'll be showing no mercy.
Our top gong was an easy choice. In Australia, prawns literally taste like Christmas. But instead of “throwing a shrimp on the barbie,” we opt for the pre-cooked kind you peel yourself. Cool and tasty to fit the summer, it’s the anticipation as you’re getting your hands dirty that makes them amazing. Frankly, we’d be shocked to find a meat-eating Australian family without prawns in their Christmas spread. Sydneysiders are particularly lucky to have access to the Sydney Fish Market, the largest working fish market in the Southern Hemisphere. You need to get in early to beat the crowds, and we happen to have hostels that are as close as you can get!
Check out our Sydney surrounds hostels here.