Forget the snowflakes and fir trees – there are many time-honoured Christmas traditions that have a uniquely Aussie flavour.
When preparing for Christmas it’s easy to get caught up in all the Northern hemisphere imagery of snowflakes, crackling fires and eggnog. However, Australia has its own special summer Christmas traditions that are worthy of celebration. For instance, an Aussie Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a game or two of backyard cricket while the younger kids take turns swinging on the Hills Hoist clothesline. We’ve even got our own Aussie version of Jingle Bells! Who can forget the classic line “it’s summertime and I am in stubbie shorts and thongs”?
And we love our warm weather Christmas foods. Red, white and green salads usually feature high on an Aussie Christmas menu. In this macadamia freekeh salad, the pomegranate seeds add a pop of Christmas colour, and the base of red in this watermelon salad contrasts with the red, white and gold of the other ingredients. Of course, we love to put unique Aussie spins on traditional Christmas foods too. Macadamia fruit mince tarts are our favourites, macadamia Christmas ham is extra delicious and macadamia and tropical fruit Christmas cake has been a long standing favourite in many Australian households. Homemade pavlova topped with seasonal fruit and candied macadamias is the perfect Christmas dessert.
Cracking macs at Christmas
For many macadamia lovers in our growing regions, cracking macadamia nuts with a hammer on the back cement pathway is an essential part of Christmas fun. Queensland nutritionist and recipe developer Casey-Lee Lyons from wellness blog Live Love Nourish shares her memory of cracking macadamias in summer. “Living in the sunshine state of Queensland, I grew up with macadamias being a family favourite, whether as a snack or showcased in a family celebration feast. Growing up I remember, at parties, you had to get in quickly to steal the prized macadamias from the bowl of mixed nuts. I particularly also remember having great admiration for my Dad, who had the knack of opening them to crack through to the treasured kernel inside, while we waited eagerly to catch the delectable nut that bounced around the table like it was a backyard cricket game! The creamy buttery crunch of the macadamia always has a place in our family celebrations and Christmas feasts and this is something I will continue to proudly share with family and friends.”
Classic Aussie Christmas combinations
Prawns, mangos and macadamias are all such staples on the Australian Christmas table and this easy recipe is like a bowl of sunshine. The addition of roasted macadamias is a simple upgrade that packs plenty of punch. Serve on top of cooked prawns or on its own with a side of corn chips.
- 1/4 cup macadamias roasted and chopped
- 2 medium mangoes flesh removed and diced
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes or to taste
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves loosely packed and chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp macadamia oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently stir until just combined.
Make a simple salad with lettuce leaves, halved cherry tomatoes and peeled, cooked prawns. Serve topped with the salsa and extra coriander sprigs.
Have a Merry Christmas.