National Library of Australia

National Obsessions

There is no denying that Australians like to enjoy themselves, with much of our recreation time revolving around some form of dining, drinking or sport.

The cookbooks presented here are the first of those written for an Australian audience, and use at least some local ingredients. Eventually moving away from traditional English cooking, recipes increasingly incorporated the more flavoursome food traditions of migrants. Modern Australian cuisine had begun.

Coupled with a burgeoning wine industry, also heavily influenced by migrants, Australian taste buds were well and truly stimulated.

Sport occupies a prominent place in Australian life. With a long history of producing talented sports people, Australia seems to have a disproportionate number of gifted athletes, all seeking to follow in the footsteps of the sporting legends before them. Even those Australians who prefer other pursuits are glued to the television during the Olympics, full of national pride.

From every cookbook published in Australia, to encyclopaedic collections of wine labels to images of our great sporting moments, Australian libraries document in great detail our national obsessions.