On How To Be An Aussie-Part 2

teaflag1 Since I shared a little pronunciation tip with you in part 1, I will share another one. My name in the Aussie accent is most often pronounced “Christerr”. This is because any word that ends with an “a” and is followed by another word beginning with a vowel gets the “err” treatment. It does occasionally make you feel like the entire nation chooses to talk like a pirate but only on certain words.  My name is usually only pronounced “Christa” when is said by itself, which most commonly happens in anger or frustration. Overall, it seems like a good reason to prefer the pirate version. Meal and refreshment times that commonly take place during the day are: Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Tea and Supper. This will vary from house to house but it is pretty close. Breakfast is a fun one because, unlike the States, there are prohibitions on certain foods being eaten for breakfast. Donuts are a no-no. Huge no-no with chocolate and sprinkles all over it. The average donut is too sweet for most Aussies to consider it acceptable morning food. Donuts can be eaten at one of the many tea times instead, so that makes up for it a bit. I should also address American Biscuits here. I made biscuits for my husband and some Aussie friends for the first time and theyteas-from-australia-610x250 were so over-the-moon impressed. It took me awhile to figure it out until my friend said to me, “Wow! You make your own scones?” My response was, “Uhhh scones yeah sure ok you bet I do.” Internally I was celebrating, because if a rough biscuit can be considered a scone then score for me. Just do not put gravy on them. Unwritten Aussie rules state that scones come with cream, butter, jam and fruit maybe, but never something savory like gravy. Also, serve those biscuits/scones for morning tea because scones aren’t really a breakfast food either. Now we move onto tea times. If you had asked me about tea in Australia before I met my husband or moved here, I probably would have pictured someone outside boiling water with tea leaves in it and the tea being some really manly beverage with bits of stuff strained through your teeth when you drank it. After I met my husband, I still diinstylemagaudn’t know that much but I thought any country that could produce his accent and Tim Tams had to be pretty awesome. I was right, if you are wondering – Aussie land is paradise on earth. Tim Tams, by the way, are chocolate-covered, cream-filled biscuit bliss. Don’t ever try one – you will be addicted and no other biscuit/cookie will ever satisfy you. For a truly amazing experience you have to try the Tim Tam Slam. You can see Natalie Imbruglia, (yeah for the famous Aussie), give a how-to for the Tim Tam Slam  on Youtube by clicking here. Using a chocolate biscuit to drink tea,now that is Australian. Morning and afternoon tea  are short breaks for a cup of anything you like, but a lot of people here enjoy a cup of tea with milk so be sure to have the carton out and a bikkie (or biscuit), which is a called a cookie in some countries. You can also refer to the hot drink as a “cuppa”.  Tea and supper is where we most commonly get confused. Tea is actually the main meal of the evening in a lot of Australian houses, so do not serve them a snack and make sure you clarify before you make plans for “tea” with one family and “supper” with another. Supper is actually another light snack sometime during the evening. While Australia is a nation that has relatively recently gotten into coffee drinking and does it well, there will still be several people that ask you, “Would you like a cup of tea?” and really mean any hot drink that they might have available. On my first trip here, being a guest, I just agreed and ending up drinking so many cups of tea I could have hosted my own party in Boston. Having been born to two parents with strong southern roots, I also discovered that the amount of sugar I like in my tea is incredibly culturally inappropriate in this health-driven nation. People kept asking me if I wanted one sugar or two and I thought, “Are you kidding me? I want 5 or 6 of those tiny little spoons you are using.” Years after that trip someone insisted on making me a cup of tea and she was adamant that she would not judge me on my sugar intake. When she saw how many teaspoons I actually put into the tea, (I only put half as much as I usually would because she was intently watching me), she commented with horror in her eyes, “You know it tastes just as sweet if you just stir it more.” To which I laughed and responded, “That is so incredibly wonderful that you are healthy enough to believe that, but it is just simply not true honey.” Given that there are at least two mea20140703_144603l times that are referred to as “tea times” you are going to need to stock up. This shouldn’t be hard. The average Aussie supermarket, , carries three times the varieties of tea as they do of coffee, and usually only two kinds of hot cocoa, if you are lucky. Flavored creamers?  Flavored coffee? Unless it’s instant, forget that stuff because they have saved the room on the shelf for tea, tea and more tea.(See the photo of tea shelves above and the photo of coffee shelves below) There are more instant coffee varieties sitting on the shelf than real coffee! Somewhere around 15 brands or types of coffee with20140703_144614 one poor little can of creamer sitting on the shelf is pretty good. That is evidence of your local supermarket really making an effort. Better get used to drinking milk or soy milk in your coffee. I hope you enjoyed this random collection of information about tea in Australia. If you would like a bit more of an organized view you can visit Silva Spoon. For part 1 in How To Be An Aussie click here.