The BBQ (pronounced barbie – q) is an Australian institution. It brings people together over the smell of sizzling sausages (also known as snags), fun banter and backyard cricket. Before you head out and buy some snags to take to your friend’s BBQ there are a few things that you need to know!
BBQs are usually held at either a person’s house, the beach or in a park. If you are meeting at the beach or in the park ensure that you have checked there are cooking facilities. It is also important to ask your friends whether you need to take any cooking utensils or cleaning products for the day. It is likely that there will be many people trying to use the BBQs in a public area, so get there early to claim your space!
Food (the most important part):
The type of food being cooked can make a BBQ go from being average to amazing! Now I am sure that you have heard the famous saying “throw another shrimp on the barbie” and it might surprise you to know that in Australia we actually mostly eat prawns, not shrimp. Unfortunately, unless you are going to a friend’s parents’ house for a BBQ it is unlikely that there will be seafood, because it can be quite expensive and way out of the average university student’s budget. The staple food that you will see at a BBQ are sausages. Sausages come in all different flavours, but the usual choice for a BBQ is beef or pork thin sausages. This might sound strange (especially to anyone from England who is used to bangers and mash) but we eat our sausages in fluffy white bread with tomato sauce, and it is amazing!
If you aren’t on a tight budget you will also see fresh garden salads (a good BBQ salad recipe can be found at the Food Network), pork or lamb chops, rissoles (minced meat mixed with herbs and spices rolled into a ball) and maybe even steak – if you are lucky. Vegetarian options are most certainly available and can be found in the frozen sections of supermarkets. Ask the host before you go what they would like you to bring and if they tell you not to bring anything I would suggest to always take a box of chocolates or something similar as a thank you to the host.
The time of day and where the BBQ is being held will affect the types of drinks you take to a BBQ. If the BBQ is being held in a public place it is unlikely that you will take alcohol as it is often not permitted in parks and on beaches. A safe option for BBQs is to take bottles of soft drink, water or juice as these are refreshing in the Queensland weather and can be shared with everyone!
The most typical activity at an Australian BBQ is backyard cricket. Some backyard cricketers are quite dedicated and have full cricket sets, however the majority of people will use their garbage bins (sometimes called wheelie bins) as stumps with a cricket bat and whatever ball they have available. Backyard cricket is easy to pick up, but if you want to have an idea of the rules before you go check out these basic backyard cricket rules.
After the BBQ is over ensure to help the host clean up any mess that was created and thank them for hosting such a great event.
Now you are all set with what to take and what to expect at your first Aussie BBQ! What do you think of the typical Australian BBQ, did you enjoy your first experience of eating a sausage in bread?