We need to talk about what the rest of the world considers to be Australian cuisine. There are some evil forces at play which are deeming food that could not be more estranged from our Aussie palates as so-called Outback cuisine.
The biggest perpetrator of this international misinformation conspiracy is Outback Steakhouse.
Some of may already be familiar with the Australiana phantasmagoria that is the Outback Steakhouse menu, seeing as the chain has eight restaurants in Australia (mostly in Sydney). Here, the food is not particularly Aussie, but at least it doesn’t explicitly pretend to be, either. Overseas, however, is where things really get weird.
Much of Outback Steakhouse menu overseas is literally just regular American food being passed off as ~oUtBaCk CuIsInE~ like BBQ ribs and S’mores. But other menu offerings are more original, and extremely cursed.
Take the iconic Bloomin’ Onion, a southern US delicacy that has unfortunately become somewhat of a posterchild for so-called Aussie cuisine over in the states.
Over in the States, the Bloomin’ Onion is the chain’s most iconic and best-selling appetiser, beating out things like Aussie cheese fries (??) and Volcano Shrimp (???).
Been in Australia 3 days and haven’t seen one goddamn bloomin’ onion
— Scott Ragowski (@ScottRogowsky) February 8, 2019
If you dare to fall down this Google rabbit hole, you’ll see an embarrassingly large amount of American websites reporting shit like “MYTH BUSTED: The famous Bloomin’ Onions isn’t Australian” as if this is some hot new info.
Strange that nobody thought to ask us beforehand.
This restaurant is a complete disgrace and does not represent my people. https://t.co/HiKKK7x72h
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 6, 2021
It gets even worse in Brazil, where Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onions are colloquially known as the Cebola Australiana, or Australian onions.
There are literally millions upon millions of people out there casually referring to “Australian onions” as if we’re some kind of onion-devouring ogres, or something. There’s no such thing as an “Australian onion” and I hope there never is.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) September 17, 2020
Then there’s the fucken KOOKABURRA WINGS. Yes. People overseas think we eat those sweet little laughing birds.
I’m not sure what sick and twisted soul at the Outback Steakhouse marketing team came up with this abomination of a name, but they need to STOP.
To be clear, these are actually the wings of chickens. It’s just the name which is revolting.
This is more than just a conspiracy orchestrated by Big Steakhouse™.
One time in Berlin I got dragged to an Australian restaurant (called Corroboree, no less!) where the most Aussie meal on the menu, fish and chips, was crumbed rather than battered.
It was either that or the “Gold Coast tuna salad”. Yes, they also had Foster’s on tap.
Note to the rest of the world: We don’t eat deep-fried onions (although they don’t look bad tbh), we don’t call prawns shrimp, and we most certainly DO NOT EAT KOOKABURRAS.