Australian food history sources

The ultimate food history source - Books for Cooks, Melbourne. My book launch, 2017.

I have used many of the following food history sources to build this timeline, but this list also includes other food books I’ve found interesting and informative.  The other invaluable source is, of course, the National Library of Australia’s Trove website, which allows you to search through hundreds of newspapers dating back to 1803. The Advanced Search page can be found here.  I also use which has more recent articles from the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age but I have not provided links to this material in my posts as you need to be a subscriber to access them. The State Library of Victoria’s Research Guide lists many food history sources under categories including Indigenous foods, cooking and cookbooks, hotels and restaurants, nutrition and more.

Food history sources – Australian books

Bannerman, Colin Seed Cake and Honey Prawns, National Library of Australia, 2008

Blainey, Geoffrey  Black Kettle and Full Moon, Penguin, 2003

Downes,   Stephen Advanced Australian Fare, Allen & Unwin, 2002

Durack, Terry  Yum: A voyage around my stomach, W. Heinemann Australia, 1996

Evans, Matthew  Never Order Chicken on a Monday, Random House, 2007

Fahey, Warren Tucker Track: The Curious History of Food in Australia,  ABC: Australian Broadcasting Commission, 2005

Farrer, Keith To Feed a Nation: A History of Australian Food Science and Technology, CSIRO Publishing, 2005

Harden, Michael  Lygon Street, Murdoch Books, 2008

Harden, Michael Of a Nation: Nestle Peters 100th Anniversary, Hardie Grant, 2007

Humphrey, Kim  Shelf Life: Supermarkets and the Changing Cultures of Consumption, Cambridge University Press, 1998

Newling, Jacqui Eat Your History, Sydney Living Museums and NewSouth Publishing, 2015

Newton, John The Oldest Foods on Earth, NewSouth Publishing, 2016

Newton, John The Getting of Garlic, NewSouth Publishing, 2018

O’Brien, Charmain Flavours of Melbourne, Wakefield Press, 2008

Risson, Toni Aphrodite and The Mixed Grill: Greek cafes in twentieth-century Australia, Kytherian Association of Australia  2007

Santich, Barbara  Bold Palates, Wakefield Press, 2012

Shun Wah, Annette & Aitkin, Greg  Banquet: Ten Courses to Harmony, Doubleday 1999

Symons, Michael One Continuous Picnic, Melbourne University Press, 2007 (2nd Edition)

Thompson, Darryl J. & Smith, James S. Traces: Where Adelaide Ate Out 1836-1960, James S. Smith & Associates, 2015

Wheelhouse, Frances Digging Stick to Rotary Hoe, Rigby Limited, 1973

The Age Good Food Guide, Penguin, Various years

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Penguin, Various years

Books from elsewhere

Cowen, Ruth  Relish: The Extraordinary Life of Alexis Soyer , Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2006

Davidson, Alan (ed.) The Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford University Press, 1999

Dickie, John  Delizia! The Epic History of Italians and Their Food, Hodder & Stoughton, 2007

Kingsolver, Barbara  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Harper Collins, 2007

Lovegren, Sylvia  Fashionable Food:Seven decades of food fads, University of Chicago Press, 2005

Mallet, Gina  Last Chance to Eat, W. W. Norton & Company, 2004

Petrini, Carlo & Waters, Alice  Slow Food Nation, Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2007

Pollan, Michael  The Omnivores’s Dilemma,  Bloomsbury,2006

Shephard, Sue Pickled, Potted and Canned, Headline, 2000

Steingarten, Jeffrey  The Man Who Ate Everything, Headline Book Publishing, 1997

Steingarten, Jeffrey  It Must Have Been Something I Ate, Review, 2002

Websites and articles

A Hundred Years of Agriculture Article on the 20th century in agriculture from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian   Academy   of   Technological Sciences   and   Engineering: Technology in Australia 1788-1988 Melbourne 1988, Online edition updated November 2001  Chapters 1 and 2 deal with agriculture and food technology

Australia’s Food and Nutrition 2012 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Primarily a resource for public health and food professionals

Australian Food News is no longer being published but has an archive of food news articles

Australian Food: 40 dishes locals like to call their own CNN Travel

Eat Your History Museum of Sydney: The Cook and the Curator

Farmers and Farming Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012

Gastro Obscura “The world’s most wondrous food and drink”

Joy of Baking An alphabetical history of baking from Afternoon Tea to Valentine’s Day.

Monroe M. H. Australia: The Land Where Time Began Website updated November 2013

State Library of Victoria Food in Victoria (Research Guide) List of useful resources

Wine Literature of the World: State Library of South Australia

Other food timelines

Carlton & United Breweries  A history of Victoria’s brewing giant and its predecessors

Food Engineering Magazine  A somewhat technical history of food technology (for example, 2000: Automated gamma, e-beam and x-ray irradiation plants). Stops at 2002.

Food Reference A comprehensive food timeline from pre-history to the present, with particular focus on the USA.

Food Timeline: World food timeline by (sadly, now deceased) American food historian and librarian Lynne Olver. Not pretty, but comprehensive and well-researched. This site has now been taken over by Virginia Tech University Libraries.

Lion: Our history  Timeline of many iconic beer and dairy brands and how they came to be owned by Kirin Holdings of Japan.

McDonald’s Australia  Timeline of Macca’s history in Australia

Timeline of Retail Grocery Trends Appendix to Australian Senate Committee report c.2006

USFirehouse: A History of Soda Pop History of American soft drinks including a timeline of packaging innovations.

Wikipedia: Timeline of agriculture and food technology Lots of links to food-related Wikipedia articles

Wikipedia: Timeline of Food Lists the dates that a variety of American brands emerged.

Woolworths: How we were founded Milestones in Woolworths corporate history


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