In this week's post, Martyn gives us the run down on his favorite indulge-worthy snacks he's discovered while living in Sydney for the past month.
Let’s be honest here...I don’t know how to cook, or rather I just don't cook for whatever reason (reason: I’m lazy). I bought a multi-grain box of spaghetti the second day that I got to Sydney and have yet to open the box. It’s still in my cabinet next to an empty blueberry muffin box...which brings us to this week’s topic. I figured I’d share my top ten lists of cheap snacks that you can get in and around Ultimo but more specifically the one and only Cole’s. Obviously since I’m studying abroad I wanted to find ten items that were both cheap (under or around 5 AUD) and that are easy to eat and take with you to go.
A ten minute walk from Urbanest, Cole’s is situated inside of Ultimo’s Broadway shopping center and is one of the few major grocery stores in the neighborhood. Some of these list items deserve more explanation than others but all are worth a sample if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
Disclaimer: You won’t find Vegemite on this list. Vegemite was the first thing that I bought when I arrived in Sydney and since tasting it I’ve been wary of trusting the Australian pallet in any capacity. I understand Vegemite is an Australian staple but I just have to ask...HOW? WHO allowed the saltiest thing on the planet to become THE go-to spread for an entire nation of people?
1) Blueberry Muffins - $3.50 AUD
For these first two items I know you may be thinking “seriously you want to make a top ten items of things to buy in Sydney and you're first two item pieces are generic breakfast items”. Well yes, partially because it’s always good to bring a little bit of home with you wherever you go and also these muffins and chocolate chip cookies are some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Maybe I have a trash palette or maybe it’s because these items are baked fresh everyday and make the perfect breakfast to-go or afternoon snack.
2) Chocolate Chip Cookie - $2.50 AUD
Coming in packs of six, these freshly baked cookies can be evenly rationed so that you get to enjoy one every day of the work week.
3) Chill Me! - $5.00 AUD
Made by Arnott’s—the same creators of Tim Tams—Chill Me! Are gelato inspired cookie biscuit wafers that are perfect for Sydney’s hotter days. For an added aesthetic flair, their packaging is temperature sensitive. It actually changes the words on the box if you follow the cookies' biscuits' namesake and freeze them overnight. Chill Me! are basically the closest thing to ice cream in cookie biscuit form that we’ll ever come close to creating, so keep an eye out for these in Coles.
4) Twix Pods - $3.00 AUD
Yet another item that we have in the US but slightly different. You can find pod versions of many staple US chocolates. Instead of a wafer bottom as you would see in a chocolate bar- with pods they instead wrap around the bottom into individual smaller pieces.
5) Choc Honeycomb - $3.50 AUD
Honeycombs are a staple Australian chocolate and one that has unfortunately never made it across the ocean to the US. Not much to say here except honey coated in chocolate is an idea that makes perfect sense. When tasting it, you can't help but wonder why it isn’t more of a common occurrence.
6) Matcha Mochi - $2.35 AUD
I’m a sucker for anything green tea-related and Matcha Mochi are the perfect substitute for the Arizona Iced Tea-shaped hole in my heart at the moment. Coming from nearby Thailand, this is a good item to try if you’re interested in what Australia’s neighbors have to offer in terms of snack cuisine.
7) Tim Tams - $5.00 AUD
As a child I was a big fan of Dunkaroos. Dunkaroos were these cinnamon graham cookies that you would dunk into a frosting cup. Unfortunately Dunkaroos were discontinued and I thought that my days of playing with my food had officially come to an end. Then I encountered the quintessential Australian snack, the Tim Tam. If I had to recommend one item on this list it would be a pack of these delicious chocolate-malted wafers specifically for the sole reason of the “Tim Tam Slam”.
I could write an entire blogpost on how the Tim Tam Slam is the perfect nostalgia treat, how the Tim Tam Slam is one of those things that can just resonate and bring everyone down to childlike glee. However, i’ll let the process speak for itself:
Step 1: Bite opposite diagonal corners of your Tim Tam
Step 2: Use the Tim Tam to suck up your hot beverage
Step 3: Slam your now moist Tim Tam into your mouth
Step 4: Repeat until your years of age and experience and uncertainty for the future wash over the childlike joy you have just experienced.
8) Hundreds & Thousands - $2.50 AUD
This item is really on the list just so I can express my discomfort for how sprinkles have been so blatantly disrespected across the globe. First, I had to pretend calling sprinkles “jimmies” was right in any capacity when I went to Pittsburgh for school. Now, I try to escape “jimmies”, come halfway around the world and what do I get? A country who calls sprinkles “hundreds and thousands”. “Hundreds and thousands” of what? I have no idea what goes into a sprinkle and this name only adds to the confusion. “Hundreds and Thousands” sounds like a really bad progressive rock band from the 1990s. Regardless of the ridiculousness I just described these cookies (which are just vanilla wafers coated in pink icings and sprinkles) do more than enough to alleviate your sweet tooth and any progress you made at the gym the previous day.
9) Wallaby Bites - $3.39 AUD
Similar to Honeycombs, Wallaby Bites are simply a delicious snack that have just so happen to remain exclusive to the Australian market. Wallaby Bites are one of the healthier junk food items on this list and make for great snacks to take with you on a beach/hiking trip.
P.S. Tune in to next week’s blog post where I finally figure out what a wallaby is!
10) Fruit Mince Pies - $1.50 AUD
Meat Pies are a big component of the food culture here in Sydney. Inside small individual pies you will often find spiced meat options such as steak and chicken. I personally do not like the consistency of meat pies for whatever reason but I do enjoy the fruit mince pie which is the exact same concept but instead of meat you have filling of fruits such as apples and apricots. Fruit mince pies seem to be the healthiest item (or the thing closest to healthy) that I have included on this list and are the best choice of snack for when you want to avoid heartburn the following day.
Martyn Megaloudis is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
Martyn's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.