I thought I would post this piece that was written(by a friend) for 'Wag the Dog' on ABC Radio. It's food for thought. Is the Australian penchant for lamb all down to Sam? And does it extend beyond that? To Angus steak?? What are your thoughts on the matter?
Do you have any other 'frightening' examples of how marketing has subliminally influenced your food choices?
"Forget eye shadow and lip piercings if you’re going for the anti-establishment look, just walk into your local on Australia day and order a ‘reef and beef’. It seems lamb has well and truly conquered Australia Day and one can’t help but pin it on a very successful ‘we love lamb’ campaign of which the recent champion Sam Kekovich. Whilst there are plenty of other items one can burn on the bbq on Australia day, the hype is all around lamb.
As the article says, lamb is flying off the shelves. I picked up a regional paper on the weekend and lamb was everywhere. A pub was spruiking its Australia day culinary line up as ‘traditional Australian lamb roast and lamb sausages’. A butcher had an ad on the same page advertising his specials – there were ten items on special and every one of them was a cut of lamb.
But it seems that if you were un-Australian enough to opt for beef on Australia day, it had better have been Angus. Like lamb, Angus Beef seems to have become the ‘in thing’. MacDonald’s jumped on it with their ‘Grand Angus’ and ‘Mighty Angus’ burger range billed as being ‘a little bit fancy’. Not to be outdone, Hungry Jacks followed closely with their ‘Angry Angus’ burger.
And its not only the fast food giants either. If a restaurant or a butcher shop is spruiking some beef, chances are it will be Angus that they are making a fuss about. So why does everyone want a piece of Angus.? Is the beef really that much better? Or perhaps the answer lies in the name itself. A Brahman sounds slightly perverted, a Shorthorn sounds like an embarrassing deficiency, a Hereford sounds like you’re going to be coughing up hair balls and Charolais sound... just too French. Then there’s Angus. Angus is the bloke who lives across the road, Angus is the lead guitarist in your favourite rock band and now he’s your favourite steak too."