1890s

1899 Lord Lamington’s banquet

A satirical verse, titled Lamington's Banquet, was published in The Worker. It detailed a formal banquet menu, fairly typical for… Read More

1899 Australia’s first health food store?

In 1899, the Sanitarium Health Food Co. opened a shop in Maitland, New South Wales, selling goods produced in their… Read More

1899 Cairns Coffee Growers Association formed

While coffee seed arrived with the First Fleet, the sprouted plants soon withered in the Port Jackson climate. Experiments with… Read More

1899 Introduction of Granose, predecessor to Weet-Bix

Granose flaked wheat biscuits were first made by Kellogg in the USA in the mid 1890s. In May 1899, the… Read More

1898 Hannah Maclurcan’s cook book

Hannah Maclurcan achieved considerable fame with her 1898 cookbook Mrs Maclurcan's Cookery Book: A Collection of Practical Recipes, Specially Suitable… Read More

1898 Kia-Ora cordial introduced

According to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, the Kia-Ora brand was first used for lemon squash by Arthur Gasquoine of… Read More

1898 Sanitarium peanut butter

Australia’s first commercially available peanut butter was made by the Sanitarium Health Food Company and introduced in 1898. It was… Read More

1898 Fasoli’s Italian restaurant opens in Melbourne

The Italian restaurant in Australia has a longer history than you might suppose. Yes, we can largely thank post-WWII immigrants… Read More

1898 White Wings founded

In Australia, when you say cake mix, the first name that springs to mind is likely to be White Wings.… Read More

Late 1890s Coolgardie safe invented

The Coolgardie safe uses evaporation to keep the food inside cool, while protecting it from flies and scavengers. It was… Read More

1897 Hamodava – the first fair trade tea

The Hamodava Tea Company was created by the Australian branch of the Salvation Army in 1897. It was the idea… Read More

1897 Origin of Melba toast

While not an Australian dish, Melba toast belongs here thanks to its name. Invented by noted chef Escoffier at London’s… Read More

1897 Pasteurised milk introduced

Pasteurised milk wasn't legally mandated in Australia until the 1950s, but in 1897 the New South Wales Fresh Food and… Read More

1895 Packham Pear developed in Molong, NSW

The Packham pear, which today accounts for approximately 60 per cent of Australia's pear production, was developed by Charles Packham… Read More

1895 Rosella Preserving Company founded

Partners  H.R. McCracken (a commission agent) and T.J. Press (a grocer) converted their backyard  jam and fruit preserving operation into… Read More

1895 Norco founded in Byron Bay

Norco is Australia's last 100 per cent farmer-owned dairy cooperative, with a $651 million turnover as of 2023. It was… Read More

1894 Chewing gum introduced by MacRobertson

Chewing gum in one form or another has a long history. From the ancient Greeks to Native Americans, many cultures… Read More

1894 Founding of Leggo’s

Think Leggo’s is Italian? Nope. Their heritage is Cornish. Henry Madren Leggo was the son of Cornish immigrants who arrived… Read More

1894 Neapolitan Ice Cream

A while ago someone wrote to me asking about the origins of Neapolitan ice cream - the kind with vanilla,… Read More

1893 Cafe Denat opens in Melbourne

The restaurant that was to evolve into Café Florentino opened its doors in Melbourne's Little Collins Street in 1893. The… Read More

1893 Finger lime plants received at Burnley Gardens

The finger lime (Citrus australasica) is among the bush foods Australian chefs began rediscovering in the 1980s. But horticulturalists were… Read More

1893 Height of 1890s depression

The 1890s depression in Australia occurred after the land boom bubble of the 1880s burst. Overseas investment dried up, banks… Read More

1893 Uncle Toby’s Oats trademarked

The Uncle Toby's company of today has a number of parents which perhaps accounts for the rather confusing history of… Read More

1893 Shelley’s soft drinks founded in Broken Hill

According to the Shelley family, the origin of Shelley's soft drinks can be traced back to 1893 in Broken Hill.… Read More

1893 Mediterranean diet recommended

Today, the Mediterranean Diet is widely recommended  as a healthy eating regime for weight loss and to help prevent heart… Read More

1892 Early mention of banana bread

Articles published in the 1890s urged Queensland banana growers to produce  banana flour, claiming that the banana bread produced from… Read More

1892 The first King Island Dairy

Today, King Island Dairy is well-known for its range of specialty cheese and is a major source of employment and… Read More

1892? Australia’s oldest Chinese restaurant founded

It's not very prepossessing from the street, but the interior of the Toi Shan in Bendigo, Victoria, has many of… Read More

1892 Saunders Malt Extract first produced

My interest in Saunders Malt Extract began when I received a note from a reader who remembered being fed the… Read More

1892 Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne

Melbourne's oldest tea rooms, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, were originally set up as a small tea room in the fashionable… Read More

1891 Hargreaves cannery in Brisbane

John Hargreaves was Yorkshire born, emigrating to Melbourne in 1872. He moved to Brisbane in 1886 and set up a… Read More

1891 Italian labour for the cane fields

Much has been written about the Italian influence on Australia's cuisine as a result of post-WWII immigration. That period, thanks… Read More

1891 Allen’s confectionery founded

Alfred Weaver Allen began making his own confectionery in 1891 in a shed behind his Fitzroy shop. The founder of… Read More

1891 Chickpeas recommended to Australian farmers

It came as a surprise to me to read that Australia is the world's largest exporter of chickpeas. But we… Read More

1891 Sargents Pies first made

Sargents Pies were first produced by George and Charlotte Sargent at their shop in Paddington. The small pies sold for… Read More

1891 Quong Tart opens his first Sydney tea room

Quong Tart was born in Canton, migrated to Australia at the age of nine and was raised by a Scots family… Read More

1891 Henry Jones IXL jam company founded

Henry Jones had worked from the age of 12 for Hobart jam manufacturer George Peacock, rising to become foreman. When… Read More

1890 Paris House restaurant opens in Sydney

We all look back with some regret to favourite eating houses long gone. Melbournians have fond memories of Fanny’s and… Read More

1890 Origins of Plaistowe Confectionery

The forerunner to Plaistowe Confectionery was the Silver Pan Confectionery Company,  founded by John Hobbs and Edward Merton in 1890.… Read More

1890? Chokos introduced to Queensland

There's no telling exactly when chokos arrived in Australia. The plant renowned for scrambling over backyard chookhouses and dunnies is… Read More

1890s Frozen rabbit industry takes off

The introduction of refrigerated railway cars made it viable to ship frozen meat, including frozen rabbit, to major cities and… Read More

1890s Pie floater invented in Port Pirie, SA

The quintessentially South Australian pie floater was reputedly invented by a Port Pirie baker known as Ern ‘Shorty’ Bradley. It… Read More

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