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    Here's What An Average Australian Vs. Japanese Person Eats For Different Meals And Occasions

    The food may look different, but it's equally delicious in both countries!

    by ,

    Hi! Our names are Isha and Emi and we're located in two different BuzzFeed Offices — Australia and Japan.

    Left: A photo of Isha; she has long, dark hair and is wearing a black t-shirt with a neon green design; Right: A photo of Emi; she has long, silver-coloured hair, freckles and is smiling

    While talking one day, we quickly found that there are a lot of cultural differences between our two countries — especially when it comes to food. So, we thought it would be fun to make a post out of it and show people what food in Australia looks like when compared to Japan.

    Studio Ghibli

    1. This is what a typical breakfast looks like in Australia:

    A closeup of a piece of toast that has Vegemite and melted cheese
    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: You won't find a more Australian brekkie (that's Aussie slang for "breakfast") than Vegemite on toast. Now, for those who have never tried Vegemite, it's a thick, salty, savoury spread that tastes better than it looks. You can combine it with butter, cheese (like I have), avocado — the list goes on. It's absolutely delicious and a staple in Australia.

    And here's what you'll start your day off with in Japan:

    Several bowls on a table – they are filled with rice, miso soup, grilled salmon, Japanese omelette and vegetables
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: This is more of your "traditional" breakfast in Japan. Normally, we wouldn’t have time to cook all this stuff on a busy morning, but if you go back to your parents' or grandparents' house, they might serve you a full course meal! You’ve got your bowl of rice, miso soup, grilled salmon, Japanese omelette (more complex to make than you think!) and some pickles or veggies on the side.

    A very healthy way to start your day! ♪

    2. This is one of Australia's favourite ice creams:

    A hand holding a Golden Gaytime ice cream
    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: This here is called a Golden Gaytime and it's an Australian classic. On the inside, you have toffee and vanilla ice cream, which is dipped in a chocolate layer and then coated in biscuit pieces. It's the perfect thing to have during summer (or whenever, really!), especially when it's above 35 degrees celsius! 

    And if you're looking for ice cream in Japan, this is most likely what you'll be served:

    A tub of green tea flavoured Häagen-Dazs ice cream
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Green tea ice cream is your go-to. If you only have one day here in Japan, I would advise splurging a little and buy the Häagen-Dazs kind. They sell them in almost all convenience stores, as with other green tea ice creams, but this one really takes the cake. So smooth and rich in flavour — it's one of the classics here in Japan.

    3. This is one of Australia's most popular chip flavours:

    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: Here's a fun fact: Smith's introduced Chicken as Australia's first flavoured chip in 1961. It's hard to describe what exactly it tastes like without just saying chicken — but it's salty and savoury and flavourful!

    And here's the Japanese equivalent:

    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: If you're talking potato chips, you have to go with Calbee's Consomme Punch. As the name states, the flavour is of consommé soup, which may sound weird, but it's honestly so good. The word "punch" — referring to being "energetic" — was trending back in the late '70s, so the marketing team added it to the product as they thought it would boost sales. It indeed did and is still booming today.

    4. This is a sweet treat you'll find in Australia:

    A hand holding a vanilla slice that's on a white paper bag
    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: This is one of my favourite Australian desserts. It's called a vanilla slice and it features a thicccc layer of vanilla custard that's been sandwiched between flaky puff pastry. Sometimes it even comes with a layer of icing on top for that extra bit of sweetness. They are so good! Plus, there's even competitions held so that bakeries can get the honour of having the best vanilla slice.

    And if you're craving something sweet in Japan, this is a popular option:

    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Pucchin Purin! A longtime seller since the '70s, this is a sweet, creamy pudding cup. Unlike regular flan sold in a cup, the makers designed this unique packaging so that you open it upside down (crucial for keeping the syrup in place!), snap the top and with a "pop" sound, a flower-looking dessert is on your plate. The "pop", as well as the actual taste is what makes this product so popular!

    5. This is one of Australia's favourite chocolatey snacks:

    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: I think a lot of international people associate Australia with Tim Tams — and that's totally okay, because Tim Tams are incredible. I mean, they look like an ordinary chocolate biscuit, but there's something about them which makes you want to devour an entire packet in one sitting. What's even more fun is doing a Tim Tim Slam, which is when you nibble the sides of the biscuit to create a straw that you then use to slurp up a hot beverage (think: Coffee, hot chocolate, tea). It's messy, delicious and totally worth trying if you haven't already.

    And this is every Japanese person's chocolatey snack of choice:

    A hand holding a box of Pocky
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: This is Pocky, one of Japan’s best-selling chocolate snacks. It's literally just a simple biscuit stick dipped in chocolate, but these things are super addictive. Milk chocolate is the OG, but there are soooo many flavours out there, it’s impossible to keep track. Strawberry flavoured chocolate is also one of my faves. ♡

    6. This is something Australians would commonly pick up from a convenience store or service station (aka "servo"):

    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: Meat pies are synonymous with Australian culture. We love them! And the easiest place to pick one up is at the servo (short for "service station", although in Japan it would be called a gas station). Add some tomato or BBQ sauce on top and you've got a perfect (and cheap!) snack.

    And here's the same, but in Japan:

    A hand holding a packaged onigiri
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: An onigiri (rice ball) is probably your go-to convenience store food. Again, there is an assortment of different kinds you can choose from. Pictured is your typical salmon flakes onigiri, but other popular ones have pickled plum, tuna and mayonnaise, spicy pollock roe, etc. (As I type this, it probably sounds kinda gross, but I swear they are all good!)

    7. This is every Australian's go-to drunk food:

    A hand holding a half-eaten kebab
    Josh Bone / BuzzFeed

    Isha: No night of drinking in Australia is complete without stopping for a kebab on the way home. The combination of meat, several different types of sauces, veg and cheese (it costs an extra $1, but it's always worth it), all wrapped in a flatbread tastes utterly divine — especially when you're still drunk.

    And this is what drunk food is like in Japan:

    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Honestly, ramen at 4 a.m. after a night of drinking is the best time to eat it. Anybody who disagrees can fight me on it. What's also great about ramen places such as the one pictured above, is that you don't have to talk to anyone to order! You put your money in this vending machine that has pictures of whatever ramen and side you want, get a little ticket, pass it to the chef and within five minutes you have a delicious bowl of fresh ramen in front of you.

    8. This is one of Australia's most iconic beverages:

    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: Milo is a chocolate malt powder and when combined with milk, it makes the ultimate Aussie beverage. Some like it with hot milk, others with cold — the only requirement is that you add MULTIPLE scoops of Milo to get the best result. Yuuuuum.

    And this is one of Japan's most popular beverages:

    A hand holding a plastic cup filled with green tea
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Originally from China, as with all teas, green tea is hugely popular in Japan. I think a big misconception is that "green tea = matcha", which is not true. There are multiple ways to prepare and drink green tea; the most standard being sencha. Matcha, of course, is another great way to drink it and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. Although, it is a little pricer and possibly a tad more bitter. I also personally like hojicha, which is brewed by roasting the tea leaves beforehand.

    9. This is Australia's favourite deep fried snack:

    A hand holding a potato cake
    @kimmitran_ / Via

    Isha: I've been told that this looks like a giant chicken nugget by some of my international friends — and while I find that hilarious, this is a potato scallop (also known as a potato cake or fritter!). It's basically a potato slice that has been deep fried and coated with chicken salt, another genius Australian invention. I would say it's similar to a hash brown, but a million times better. 

    And this is a typical deep fried dish available in Japan:

    A bowl filled with deep fried seafood and vegetables (tempura) served over rice
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Tempura is a wildly popular fried dish. It’s basically battered seafood and vegetables, which is then deep-fried. I ate this tendon the other day, which is tempura served over rice. You could enjoy it with soba noodles too, which is called tenzaru.

    10. These snacks will make Australians feel nostalgic:

    Triangular slices of fairy bread
    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: Sure, fairy bread may just be bread that's been buttered, topped with hundreds and thousands and then cut into triangles, but as a kid, this was the most magical food in existence. It was the go-to dish served at birthday parties and it tasted extraordinary. Tbh, I would still eat it as an adult.

    And here's a drink that reminds Japanese people of their childhood:

    A Japanese cream soda
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: I believe in the Western world, these are called "ice cream floats", but in Japan, they’re called "cream sodas" (not to be confused with the American cream soda, which has a completely different taste). As pictured, it's vanilla ice cream over exceedingly vibrant green-colored, melon-flavoured soda and a Maraschino cherry on top. Beloved by kids and adults with a sweet tooth. 

    11. This is a much-loved Australian meal that looks weird to foreigners, but actually tastes really good:

    A hand holding one half of a spaghetti jaffle; it has spaghetti and cheese oozing out
    Isha Bassi / BuzzFeed

    Isha: This, my friends, is a jaffle — which is basically a closed toasted sandwich. In Australia, we like to fill them with either tinned baked beans, or more commonly, tinned spaghetti and cheese. At first glance, it looks like a hot mess, but don't knock it until you try it. It's comforting, cheesy, saucy and the best thing to make when you're starving. 

    And here's a popular Japanese dish that foreigners often avoid, but should try at least once in their life:

    A bowl filled with rice and fermented soy beans
    Emi Tulett / BuzzFeed

    Emi: Fermented soybeans, otherwise known as natto! I feel like if you didn't grow up eating this, then you would be disgusted by not only the name, but the smell and texture as well. Yes, the smell is pungent to foreigners, and yes, the fact that it’s fermented and is slimy is a total turn-off, but many Japanese people enjoy these beans with rice. Sometimes we even have it with spaghetti! (Sorry to all my Italian friends…)

    We hoped you enjoyed learning about food in Australia and Japan! Let us know if you want us to compare anything else between our two countries in the comments below.