On any weekend, if you go to the local DIY store like Bunnings (our version of Lowe’s/Home Depot/B & Q), you will almost certainly smell hot sausages and onions in the parking lot as you enter the store. It’s called a “sausage sizzle” and for a couple of bucks, you get a slice of squishy white bread, an average sausage with sauteed onions and a squirt of ketchup or bbq sauce. There is nothing about it that is sophisticated but it is a tasty and cheap snack that is loved here. I don’t know why but I had always imagined an Australian BBQ to be pretty exciting and I think the marketing team at Outback Steakhouse (a completely American company) made me think that there was something different, or better about an Aussie BBQ.
Last weekend, we decided to volunteer planting trees at a nearby park for National Tree Day. Imagine my excitement that there was going to be a free BBQ as well! Even the wet, cold weather didn’t deter us from planting some trees and having some BBQ. When we arrived, I noticed that “BBQ” on offer was the sausage sizzle which my husband likes with but I do not really enjoy. The main reason for my disdain is the taste of the sausages. If you go to any supermarket and buy plain sausages, they usually contain some type of lamb or mutton along with pork or beef. This is not something I am used to at all. You’d never find lamb in a generic sausage back home unless it was labeled specifically as lamb sausage. I am not a fan of strong flavored meats and can instantly taste it if there is lamb or mutton in the sausage (I have to be in the mood for lamb).
The choices that day were either burnt vegetarian patties or sausages on white bread and a can of soda. I think I was really hungry because I devoured two sausages with all the grease and didn’t complain at all even when I was spitting out the gristle between mouthfuls. I was actually happier about the free soda since they cost about $2.50 for a 12 oz / 330 ml can here. I know, I know, I really shouldn’t complain because it was free but my point is that it wouldn’t have mattered where it was being served…it would’ve been pretty identical anywhere else, free or otherwise.
Today, I was walking through the University of Adelaide and it happens to be “welcome back from winter break” week for students and sure enough, there was the familiar smell of the sausage sizzle and a long line to eat the ubiquitous Aussie sausage in white bread for lunch.
What is my point? I just wanted to show people outside of Oz what a generic sausage sizzle looks like. It is a common thing to go to any average BBQ and have various meats and sausages grilling and a couple of loaves of squidgy white bread to use as buns. I wonder why the hot dog bun never caught on here? For me, I find the sausage in white bread very unexciting but when very hungry, it does the job. Don’t get me wrong and don’t send me hate mail…I still LOVE living here and so many things about Australia but I still think that we do a better average BBQ in the States.