National food identity crisis

Everyday Gourmet star Justine Schofield.
Everyday Gourmet star Justine Schofield. Contributed

AUSTRALIANS may be at risk of losing their national identity, after new research from Continental has revealed two thirds of people are unable to identify a signature dish.

The research suggests most people believe the national dish should represent the country's multicultural diversity.

This is problematic because more than 75% agree Australia's diverse culture makes it difficult to identify just one dish that speaks for the country.

Despite being a nation of food lovers, there has not been a decision made on what dish defines Australians yet.

Suggestions for the Australian national dish vary from traditional steak and vegies to lasagna and stir-fry.

But 61% of Western Australians believe the signature dish should be influenced by meals that Aussies have always eaten, like the traditional Sunday roast or meat pies.

In response to the findings, the 'Australia's National Dish' campaign is launching a search to reveal what should be on Australia's plate.

"The UK has its fish and chips, Spain has its paella and Japan has its sushi. (But) we're a little confused over what constitutes the great Australian meal," Continental Marketing Manager Bruno Cardinali said.

Continental asked Everyday Gourmet host and former MasterChef contestant Justine Schofield to help launch a search to discover 'Australia's National Dish'.

Justine was especially excited about working on this project because "good eating is a topic so close to (her) heart".

"We have a long tradition of great food in Australia, but the modern and multicultural country we now live in means that it's hard to pinpoint one dish that defines Australia in 2013.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the results," she said.

For more information, visit

What do you think Australia's National Dish should be? Leave a comment below.

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