Eating

1961 Streets Splice trademark registered

Actually, the Streets people themselves don’t know when this iconic Aussie ice cream was launched. They say it was “sometime… Read More

1961 Limmits weight loss biscuits invented

In the early 1960s, my school lunch often consisted of two Limmits weight loss biscuits, perhaps with an apple. It… Read More

1962 Scotts TV dinners advertised

The term "TV dinners" emerged as a brand name in the USA in 1955, although frozen ready-to-eat meals had been… Read More

1959 Continental food in Sydney

I discovered this article on newspapers.com. Published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 25 April 1959, it gives an entertaining… Read More

1959 Streets Gaytime launched

The first Streets Gaytime was not golden. It was a combination of icecream, chocolate and strawberry shortcake. The famous Golden version,… Read More

1958 Barney Banana ice cream launched

Peters Barney Banana, a banana ice cream on a stick, was launched in 1958.  It was promoted as containing real… Read More

1957 Lucia’s Pizza Bar in Adelaide

Lucia's Pizza Bar opened in 1957 and may well be Australia's first pizza restaurant (a title claimed for many years… Read More

1957 Australia’s first Japanese restaurant

The first Japanese restaurant in Australia wasn't a separate restaurant at all, but an annexe to the Dungowan restaurant in… Read More

1957 “Nibble Nobby’s Nuts” trademarked

It's a line that has provoked a chortle since 1957. "Nibble Nobby's Nuts" is ambiguous enough to be printable but… Read More

1956 Birds Eye Fish Fingers make their Australian debut.

Birds Eye Fish Fingers, produced by the quick freezing process developed by the eponymous Clarence Birdseye, were introduced in 1956… Read More

1955 Rocklea Road developed by Darrell Lea

Rocklea Road, a combination of chocolate, marshmallow, coconut and peanuts, was developed by Harry Lea as a gift for his… Read More

1955 First McDonald’s opens in USA

Salesman Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's in Illinois in 1955, licensing the name from a Californian Bar-B-Que restaurant that… Read More

Mid 1950s Sliced and packaged bread

Sliced and packaged bread was introduced in America as early as 1928 but the widespread adoption of the sliced loaf… Read More

1954 (?) Choo Choo Bar

The Choo-Choo Bar was originally made by Plaistowe in Western Australia. Hearsay suggests it arrived in the early 1950s –… Read More

1954 Savoury Shapes biscuits launched

On 30 November 2020, which would, had he lived, have been my father's 100th birthday, my family had an online… Read More

1954 Mrs Mac’s Pie Company founded

Originally, the pies weren't Mrs Mac's. The bakery business Ken Macgregor started in Perth in 1954 used the brand name,… Read More

1954 Happy Little Vegemites jingle

The Happy Little Vegemites song, used to advertise Australia's iconic Vegemite spread, was written by Alan Weekes of advertising agency… Read More

1954 Curried Goanna served in Sydney

On 8 May 1954, Curried Goanna was among the foods served at a special Northern Territory night at a Sydney… Read More

1953 Scallop pies,10d each

The true history of Tasmania's famous scallop pies is shrouded in mystery. The earliest reference I can find to the… Read More

1953 Colvan Chips

Although there is a story that margarine-manufacturer Ted Mayes founded the Colvan business with his winnings from the 1942 Melbourne Cup,… Read More

1953 First Australian Meals on Wheels service

The Meals on Wheels concept originated in Britain during WWII, with authorities delivering meals to elderly, frail people. The first… Read More

1953 Chocolate Crackles trademarked

December 1953 saw the name Chocolate Crackles trademarked by Kellogg, despite the fact that the recipe had been in circulation… Read More

1952 Salada biscuits launched

Salada biscuits are among Australia's favourite crackers or, as we used to call them in my youth, dry biscuits. Originally… Read More

1953 Streets Paddle Pop launched

In 1953 Ron Street, nephew of Street's Icecream founder Ted Street, invented the ice cream that has endured for more… Read More

1952 Brisbane’s elite introduced to pizza

The true origins of pizza are obscure. Wikipedia says the word 'pizza' was first recorded in the 10th century. However,… Read More

1952 Spaghetti bolognese recipe

Why would it have a French spelling? And why would it include Worcestershire sauce? And why would you bake it?… Read More

1952 Kentucky Fried Chicken brand launched in USA

Harland Sanders opened his first restaurant in 1930 in the front room of a gas station in Corbin, Kentucky, naming… Read More

1952 The Esky ® invented

No doubt to the annoyance of the brand’s owners, the term ‘Esky’ is widely used in Australia as a generic… Read More

1952 Riots in Bonegilla migrant camp

Post WWII migrants were temporarily housed in camps, such as a former army camp at Bonegilla. They protested about the… Read More

1951 Chiko Roll developed

Frank McEnroe  was a boilermaker from Bendigo who developed the iconic deep fried Chinese-style roll to sell while catering at… Read More

1951 Maggi dried soups launched in Australia

Dried soups became an essential part of store-cupboard cookery in the 1950s. Unilever’s Continental brand was Maggi’s principle competitor. Their… Read More

1950s Origins of Perth’s Conti Roll

The continental roll, or "conti roll" is a Perth institution and consists of mixed continental meats (typically mortadella, coppa and… Read More

1950 Wartime rationing ends

Five years after the end of WWII, food rationing finally ended.  While sugar and meat had been freely available for… Read More

1950 Downyflake Donuts in Melbourne

The first Downyflake Donut restaurant opened in Melbourne’s Swanston Street in 1950. Their “American Donut Machine” was a source of… Read More

1950 Twisties invented

Twisties were one of the first “extruded snack foods”. The brand was originally developed by Melbourne businessman Isodor Magid who… Read More

1949 Peters Choc Wedge launched

One of the all-time favourites in the Peters range, Choc Wedge was a new variant of the vanilla icecream/chocolate coating… Read More

1949 Jaffle craze hits Australia

That Aussie icon, the jaffle iron, has a shorter history than you may think. It was invented in 1949 and… Read More

1949-74 Snowy Mountains Scheme

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric  Scheme was an ambitious engineering project to turn back the waters of rivers that flowed east… Read More

1949 Dagwood Dog vs Pronto Pup

In a 1949 courtcase, a couple who claimed exclusive rights to sell ‘Pronto Pups’ sought to stop competitors from selling a… Read More

1949 Jan gets Spotty’s dinner

An unfortunate episode involving a high chair, a fox terrier called Spotty and a dish of cooked ox hearts. For… Read More

1948 Australian Vegetarian Society re-founded

Although the first Australian Vegetarian Society was founded in 1886, there is little evidence of its activities between 1900 and… Read More

1948 FruChocs first produced

FruChocs, now made by Menz Confectionery are unique to South Australia. Originally produced by  W. Menz & Co., biscuit and confectionery… Read More

1947 Raleigh Preserving Co. registers Biddy’s trademark

Raleigh Preserving Company is among Australia's forgotten food companies.  Once a popular brand, the company manufactured a range of canned… Read More

1947 Wizz Fizz sherbet confection launched

This childhood favourite was originally a  paper sachet of sherbet with a liquorice straw. The Wizz Fizz is still made… Read More

1947 – Four ‘n Twenty Pie introduced

Australians eat more than 12  meat pies per capita per year - more than anyone else except the Kiwis who… Read More

1945 Garlic bread arrives in Australia

To be honest, it's impossible to say when someone ate the first slice of garlic bread in Australia. But the… Read More

1944 Meat rationing

From January 1944, meat coupons for adults could purchase an average of 2¼ lbs (just over 1 kg) of meat… Read More

1943 Splayds invented

Splayds are a combination of knife, fork and spoon. They were invented by William McArthur in Sydney, supposedly after seeing… Read More

1943 Butter rationing introduced

In June 1943, butter was added to the list of rationed foods. The allowance for each adult was 1lb per… Read More

c1943 The soldier’s friend F.R.E.D.

Introduced around 1943, the F.R.E.D., a combination can opener, bottle opener and spoon, was included in military ration packs. Officially… Read More

1942 Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia

A 54-page  booklet titled Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia was produced for American forces stationed here during World War… Read More

1942 WWII food rationing – tea and sugar rationed

To conserve food during WWII,  rationing regulations were gazetted in May 1942 and food rationing began in June. Tea was… Read More

1942 Beefless days introduced

In a first step towards World War II food rationing, newspapers throughout Australia announced on 16 January that "The eating… Read More

1941 The Oslo lunch

The Oslo lunch, invented by the Norwegian Professor Schiotz, had been associated with improved child health and weight gain in… Read More

1940 Raw prawn enters the Australian lexicon

"Don't come the raw prawn with me, mate" is universally understood in Australia to mean "don't try to fool me… Read More

1939? Kool Mints developed by Griffiths Sweets

When I worked in advertising , Allen's Sweets was among my clients. In the late 1970s, I developed a television… Read More

1939 Wine and Food Society NSW

The Wine and Food Society NSW was launched in the Rhine Castle Cellars on 9 March, 1939, with the inaugural… Read More

1938 First Blackmores health food store

Blackmores, makers of a range of dietary supplements, used to claim that their founder, Maurice Blackmore, opened Australia's first health… Read More

1938 Brockhoff launches Savoy Crackers

The supermarket shelves offer a plethora of round, crinkly-edged crackers. Three of them are under the Arnott's brand: Jatz, Savoy… Read More

1937 The bread and butter slimming diet

In 1937, an article in the Sunday Times in Perth suggested a revolutionary new slimming diet: the bread and butter… Read More

1937 Sunshine powdered milk launched in Australia.

Sunshine Powdered Milk became a staple during the war years. It was often used to make up bottles for babies… Read More

1936 Commonwealth Advisory Council on Nutrition

The Commonwealth Advisory Council on Nutrition was formed in 1936 after Australian delegates to the Assembly of the League of… Read More

1936 Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

Harry 'Tiger' Edwards operated a pie cart in Sydney's Woolloomooloo  just before WWII, taking advantage of custom from the navy… Read More

1936 Weis bar developed in Toowoomba

n 1936, Cyril Weis created what he call his Fruito Bar, a bar of ice cream and tropical fruits, which… Read More

1936 Wine and Food Society of Victoria

The Wine and Food Society of Victoria was modelled on the London Wine and Food Society established by gourmet and… Read More

1936 Seafood cocktail on the beach

In 1936, The Mail, Adelaide, published a recipe for seafood cocktail as a suggestion for a beach party. It's unclear… Read More

1935 Pavlova dessert in Perth

The dessert we know as Pavlova was inspired by Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and both New Zealand and Australia claim… Read More

1935 First quiche recipe published in Australia?

Here in Australia, we strongly associate quiche with the 1970s, but the first recipes for Quiche Lorraine were published many… Read More

1932 Yo-Yo biscuits launched

Yo-Yo biscuits, now made by Arnott's, are a uniquely South Australian product. They were first produced by W. Menz and… Read More

1932 First Meadow Lea margarine released

Meadow Lea was one of the first margarines marketed in Australia.  The brand was founded by Oliver Triggs, a Melbourne… Read More

1932 Vita-Weat first made in Australia

Vita-Weat crispbreads were first produced by Peek Frean in the UK and were the foundation product when the biscuit company… Read More

1932 Nuttelex vegetable margarine introduced

Unlike many early margarines which were made from or included animal fats, Nuttelex has always been a purely vegetarian spread.… Read More

1931 Beef Riot in Adelaide

In one of the most notorious incidents of the Great Depression, around 2000 of the unemployed staged a march from… Read More

1931 Smith’s Potato Chips arrive in Australia

Smith’s Chips  (then called Smith's Crisps) were first sold in the UK by Mr. Frank Smith. The potato chips he… Read More

1931 Sweetacres make Jaffas

Jaffas, with their chocolate core and orange-flavoured shell, were made by James Stedman-Henderson’s Sweets Ltd of Sydney under the brand… Read More

1930 Freddo Frog introduced

Freddo Frog was introduced by MacRobertson's in 1930. The original plan was to launch a mouse-shaped chocolate bar, but a… Read More

1930 Fantales introduced

For decades, going to the movies involved either a pack of Jaffas or a a box of Fantales. The chocolate-covered… Read More

1930 Eat More Bread campaign

The ‘Eat More Bread’ campaign was a response to a surplus of wheat in Australia. A promotional booklet was distributed… Read More

1930 Personality Chocolates in Sydney

Personality Chocolates was a boutique chocolate maker with a factory in Bayswater Road, King's Cross. The company began in 1930… Read More

1930 Foodbank origins in Victoria

It wasn't known as Foodbank back then. But the State Relief Committee has evolved over the years, officially adopting the… Read More

1930 First Coles cafeteria

For several generations of Australians, a visit to Coles Cafeteria was the highlight of a trip to the city.  Coles'… Read More

1930 Perfect Cheese founded by Natale Italiano

Natale Italiano was born in Scido in Calabria, near the toe of Italy's boot. He emigrated to Australia in 1922… Read More

1930s Procera becomes Australia’s first franchise

The Procera bread baking process involved enriching the flour with gluten, thus boosting its protein content, decreasing starch and improving… Read More

1929-1932 Great Depression

The Wall Street crash of October 1929 heralded a worldwide depression that saw one in three Australian breadwinners unemployed.  In… Read More

1929 Avocado on toast first mentioned

  In an article in The Telegraph, Brisbane, in 1929, Margaret Cullen wrote about Robert Walsh's Redcliffe garden where avocados… Read More

1929 Fairy bread as we know it

Although people had been putting hundred and thousands (or nonpareils) on bread and butter for some time, the first known… Read More

1928 Scorched Peanut Bar introduced

The Mastercraft Scorched Peanut Bar began life as the White Signet Scorched Peanut Bar, first advertised in 1928.  White Signet… Read More

1928 Sliced bread introduced in USA

In the town of Chillicothe in Missouri, the eponymous Chillicothe Baking Company was the first company to use a slicing… Read More

1928 Dim sims mentioned in The Argus

James Lambert of the Australian National Dictionary Centre has unearthed a reference to this popular fast food in the Melbourne… Read More

1927 MacRobertson’s Max-Mints Alphabet Book

MacPherson Robertson began making sweets in 1880 and by the late 1920s had 17 factories employing 2600 people. The Max-Mints… Read More

1927 Darrell Lea founded in Sydney

The confectionery company Darrell Lea was founded in Sydney by an English immigrant, Harry Levy, in 1927, and named after… Read More

1927 Aeroplane Jelly launched

The inventor of Aeroplane Jelly was a tram driver.  Bert Appleroth first made jelly crystals at home in his bathtub… Read More

1927 Brunch recommended to Queenslanders

In 1927, the Queensland Figaro and Punch published an article recommending brunch as a substitute for Sunday lunch.  It seemed… Read More

1927 Parliament House opened in Canberra

After the ceremony, the official party, including the Duke and Duchess of York, lunched on  turtle soup, poached schnapper, fillets… Read More

1926 Poem glorifies steak and eggs

During the early to mid-20th century, steak and eggs was considered by many to be Australia's national dish. In 1926,… Read More

1925 Fred Walker gains Australian rights to Kraft Cheddar

The Melbourne entrepreneur,  Fred Walker, had been experimenting with the processing of cheese. Learning about the process that had been developed and… Read More

1925 Asparagus rolls upstage sandwiches

Australian-style asparagus rolls consist of asparagus tips, often from a can, rolled in buttered, thinly sliced bread. An alternative or… Read More

1924 Cherry Ripe Bar

The Cherry Ripe bar was introduced in 1924 by MacRobertson Chocolates (later to be taken over by Cadbury in 1967)… Read More

1924 Double-cut rolls for 5d

In 2016, the revised edition of the Macquarie Dictionary included the term "double-cut roll" for the first time. But this… Read More

1924 Fruit kiosk at Flinders St station

The Chairman of the Victorian Railways Commissioners, Harold Clapp, wanted to see  primary producers succeed, so the railways would succeed… Read More

1924 Kellogg’s starts making corn flakes in Sydney

Seventh Day Adventist Dr John Harvey Kellogg  filed a patent for flaked cereal process in 1895 when he and his… Read More

1923 First Australian domestic refrigerator

The first commercially available, Australian-made domestic refrigerator to operate without ice was produced by Edward Hallstrom in 1923. It used kerosene… Read More

1923 Railway raisin bread

As part of a campaign to promote fruit sales, Victorian Railways Commissioner Harold Clapp had a bakery built to produce… Read More

1923 Golden North ice cream in South Australia

The Bowker family moved to Laura, 240km north of Adelaide, in 1870 and in 1880 began selling the milk and… Read More

1923 Vegemite launched

Vegemite was developed by food technologist Cyril P. Callister for  the Australian company Fred Walker & Co. in 1922  and,… Read More

1923? Balfour’s Frog Cakes introduced

Frog Cakes are small cakes made from two layers of sponge with a jam filling, topped by a dome of… Read More

1923 Weet-Bix developed

A company called Grain Products Limited added small amounts of sugar and malt to flaked cereal biscuits and launched Weet-Bix… Read More

1922 Minties invented by Sweetacres

Minties were invented in 1922 by James Noble Stedman and marketed under the Sweetacres brand. They were patented in 1926.… Read More

1922 Showbags for sale

Although giving away samples had been common at the various Royal and country shows for some time, it appears that… Read More

1922 Eskimo Pie arrives in Australia

The Eskimo Pie – a foil-wrapped ice cream bar covered in chocolate – was invented by Christian Kent Nelson in… Read More

1922 Life Savers arrive in Australia

In 1921, in Sydney, a group of businessmen, reportedly Americans, formed a company "To acquire by agreement from Mint Products… Read More

1921 Flake on the market in Melbourne

Writing in The Argus in 1922, Mr F Lewis of the Fisheries Department sought to persuade Victorians to eat gummy… Read More

1921 Violet Crumble first advertised

Some accounts would have it that the Violet Crumble dates back to 1913, while the manufacturers say 1923. The true… Read More

1919 Spanish Flu disrupts food supplies

In the wake of World War I, returning soldiers brought the so-called "Spanish" influenza to Australia. Around 40 per cent… Read More

1917 Gravox invented by Clements Brothers

Time was, Sunday wouldn't be Sunday without the traditional roast at lunchtime. And the traditional roast wouldn't be the same… Read More

1917 The Berliner becomes the Kitchener Bun

During World War I, the antipathy towards all things German even extended to food. In South Australia, the popular doughnut-like… Read More

1916 Copha trade mark registered

The Copha trade mark was applied to a shortening made from coconut oil and was registered by Lever Brothers, the… Read More

1916 Kraft cheese process patented

James L Kraft was an American cheese merchant who wanted to produce a cheese with better keeping qualities. His pasteurised,… Read More

1915 Haigh’s Chocolates founded in Adelaide

Alfred Earnest Haigh opened for business in Adelaide's Beehive Building on 1 May 1915. Haigh's Chocolates became an Adelaide icon,… Read More

1915 Army rations in World War I

Bully beef and biscuits are the stuff of legend when it comes to army rations. However, although this was largely… Read More

1914 Tango suppers the rage in Melbourne

In 1913, the tango craze swept Europe, Britain and America.  Australia was not far behind. In March 2014 the Paris… Read More

1914 Earnest Hillier makes first Australian chocolates

After running what he claimed to be Australia's first soda fountain at Sydney's Imperial Skating Rink, Earnest Hillier opened his… Read More

1914 Yatala Pie Shop on Pacific Highway Qld

Officially, the Yatala Pie Shop opened on the Pacific Highway south of Brisbane in 1914. So significant is this that… Read More

1913 Arnott’s Teddy Bear Biscuits

Arnott's Teddy Bear Biscuits were not a world first, or even an Australian first. There were Teddy Bear Cookies in… Read More

1911 Slip’s Ice Cream in Sorrento

In 1911, William Schlipalius began making ice cream at his home in Sorrento, Victoria. He sold his product from a… Read More

1909 Savoury toast in Launceston, Tasmania

I've always taken note of regional dishes, or regional variations on dishes. There are regional variations on the sandwich: Perth's… Read More

1907 Peters Ice Cream founded

Peters Ice Cream was founded in Sydney by American migrant Fred Peters. His first Peters Ice Cream family bricks, reputed to… Read More

1906 SAO biscuits introduced

SAO biscuits are up there with Lamingtons among the "iconic" Aussie foods. They are  still made by Arnott's. There are… Read More

1905 When potato scallops came in shells

It's an issue that provokes passionate debate and bitter interstate arguments. At the heart of it is the fish and… Read More

c1905 Camp Pie canned in Australia

Although camp pie in various guises had been around for many decades, it appears that Foggitt Jones of Queensland were… Read More

1904 Peck’s Pastes arrive in Australia

While the General Mills website claims Peck's Pastes were  introduced to Australia in 1904, the brand advertised 60th birthday specials… Read More

1904 Chook raffle goes wrong

In June 1904, the Kalgoorlie Sun recounted the tale of a chook raffle in a local pub. The chicken, in… Read More

1904 Sennitt’s Ice Cream

John Sennitt was an English-born engineer  who, in 1899,  acquired his employers' firm Victorian Cold Accumulator Proprietary Company Ltd. The… Read More

1904 Hydro Majestic hotel opens at Medlow Bath

Built by the retail magnate Mark Foy, the Medlow Bath Hydro opened in 1904 as a hydropathic sanitorium and health… Read More

1903 First Australian barbecue

The term 'barbecue', referring to a cooking method was certainly known in England well before the First Fleet departed for… Read More

1903? Cicerello’s selling fish in Freemantle

Origin stories can sometimes be...well...romanticised. Cicerello's, on the seafront in Fremantle, Western Australia, claims to have been founded in 1903.… Read More

1903 Muttonbird industry regulated

In Australia's early colonial days, the settlers enjoyed their parrot pie and almost anything that flew was considered fair game.… Read More

1902 Last Bunya nut gathering

The bunya nut, from the Bunya Pine, was an important food source for aboriginal people of Queensland’s Darling Downs area.… Read More

1901 Federation banquet

A grand Federation banquet at Sydney Town Hall celebrated the creation of a nation, as the separate British colonies joined… Read More

1900 Lamingtons invented

There are various stories (probably apocryphal) about how lamingtons were invented.  However, it seems likely that they were devised by… Read More

1900 Meat Supervision Act in Victoria

The 1900 Meat Supervision Act introduced a requirement for meat to be inspected at the time of slaughter. Only inspected… Read More

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