The Australian Pizza Toppings You're Not Likely To Find In The US

If you're a foodie, you probably can't help but find pizza interesting. It's one of the foods that is undoubtedly different at every stop across the globe. In fact, there are several variations in the United States alone, from New York style to Detroit and Chicago pizza styles.

Australia was slow to adopt pizza — the food didn't become popular until the late 1940s. This began when Italians and Greeks started immigrating to the country after World War II, and it eventually grew to include commercial and family pizzerias. Not long after, Australian chefs started integrating local ingredients that better reflected the area's culture.

When it comes to general pizza toppings, Australians like many of the same things we do. As of 2020, the most ordered pizza in Australia was the classic Margherita, followed by meat lovers and Hawaiian. What makes the country different is the toppings they use that the rest of the world may not consider, such as kangaroo, emu, and crocodile.

Kangaroo meat is a popular Australian topping

Kangaroo meat is a commonly consumed cuisine in Australia, and it often makes its way onto pizzas. Featuring a gamey flavor, kangaroo meat is usually strong in taste and tender in texture. It has a bold flavor that doesn't compare to steak or chicken. Kangaroo meat boasts a high amount of protein and limited fat, making it a nutritious option loaded with zinc and iron.

Pizza with kangaroo meat requires specific toppings to create a cohesive pie. Some recipes recommend adding sweet potato, feta, Spanish onion, and capsicum peppers, while others keep the feta and exchange the other toppings for beetroot, rocket, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. At The Australian Heritage Hotel, the "Coat of Arms" pizza is loaded with half kangaroo meat and topped with capsicum peppers, while the other half consists of emu meat and tomatoes. This leads us to the next unique pizza topping Australia has to offer.

Some top their pizza with emu meat

Another beloved Australian pizza topping is emu meat, though emu eggs are pretty expensive. Emu is a red meat that tastes similar to beef, yet is more nutritious due to its low levels of cholesterol and fat. It has a rich, juicy flavor with a steak-like texture. Its taste and mouthfeel can also be compared to lamb.

Online recipes recommend combining emu meat with red pepper, onions, mushrooms, and anchovies when making a pizza. As evidenced by The Australian Heritage Hotel, it also pairs well with kangaroo meat. The key to perfecting this particular pie is making sure the emu meat is properly cooked. When a Reddit user asked others for emu cooking tips, one commenter suggested, "[treating] it like steak on the BBQ." Another commenter said it should be "cooked like turkey," and described emu meat as "gamey" and "a less smelly venison." Because of this, the poster prefers crocodile meat, which serves as yet another addition to the list of well-known Australian pizza toppings.

Crocodile meat is also a common pizza topping

It's not unlikely for Australians to decorate their pizzas with crocodile meat. This meat variety can be easily chipped apart, as it's fairly tender, and it boasts a mild taste with a bit of fishiness. Its soft texture is the result of a properly cooked crocodile, though if it's cooked too long, it will quickly become tough and chewy.

If you were to make a crocodile pizza at home, it would be best to pair it with sage leaves, butter, olive oil, white wine, chicken stock, Prosecco, dried cranberries, salt, and pepper. While preparing the crocodile meat, marinades such as rosemary, garlic, fruit chutney, citrus, or chili help to enhance its flavor. Those cooking crocodile should compare the methods to that of chicken or pork.

These toppings aren't usually available in the United States; however, Australian residents seem to love them. If you can get your hands on crocodile, emu, or kangaroo meat, it might be a good idea to see what makes these toppings so popular.