Eating Mr. Roo

Okay, I feel kind of bad/disgusted by that title…


This past weekend was full of all kinds of adventures and was also a long weekend – ah the perks of being subject to the crown! We spent a lot of time getting Adam’s business closet finalized which included – surprise! – a trip to several shoe stores. Luckily for us Melbourne is made for serious shoppers with no lack of stores in all directions.


Before I tell you how shoe shopping and eating Roo are related, something needs to be said about Australian culture. I am not sure if everyone is aware of the stereotype that Australians are extremely friendly and ready to offer help and advice for any and everything Australian related. Seriously, if you’re lost simply put on an “I’m so lost and confused” expression and someone will pop up asking if you need directions, better yet, they’ll show you the way. If you’re in an elevator, the nearest Australian will regale you with their version of humorous jokes all to make the elevator ride that much less awkward.


A side note – Elevator humor really is not for everyone, so how was our experience with the willing comedian? Eh let’s just say it significantly increased the level of staring at ceiling/floor and twiddling thumbs pretending *the joker* did not exist. Hey – I never said “friendliness in all situations” was an American stereotype!


So long story short – Australians are nice and super friendly. This was not off at all for our friend at the shoe store who told us all about himself and was genuinely interested in our little story as well. He wanted to know all about where we call ‘home’, how long we would be here, how we were liking it and what sort of “Australian” things have we tried.


Which brings me to eating Roo (told you I’d get there…all in good time young grasshopper). We informed him that we had purchased some Roo and were looking forward to trying it that night. He was delighted and immediately started telling us about how much he loves to cook and is “a bit of a snob” with his cooking. He also offered us some tips on cooking Roo – “The less you cook it, the better it tastes”. For closet carnivores like myself, that was like hearing angels sing and I immediately filed that away to use later to defend my bloody steak as “the way you HAVE to cook it” when Adam undoubtedly would want me to cook it some more.


It was so refreshing to find that eating Roo is not just some hokey tourist stunt that the locals tout because we are just so over eager to do as “they” do. You know, the whole “haha, they think we EAT this stuff?! Let’s see what else we can make them do…vegemite anyone?”. (Unfortunately Vegemite is another food that Aussies actually eat).  In fact our shoe store kitchen connoisseur let us know that Roo is about the healthiest meat you can find – almost zero fat and extremely lean (which is the reason you shouldn’t over cook it because then you’re left with jerky). We thanked him, he wished us luck and wanted us to come back and let him know how it went.

Enter the kitchen. Pan on the stove (very small stove if I may remind you). Roo gets out of the package and it is about the reddest piece of meat I’ve ever seen. This definitely was not cow. Cook it we did – about 3 minutes per side (these were quite small “steaks”) and I called em done. Set the plate super nice and picked up fork and knife.

It suddenly dawns on me how cute Roo from Winnie the Pooh is. I’m wondering how old these said “roos” are, wondering if “Joey” burgers are the same as veal or lamb. I can’t lose my nerve now so I turn to Adam and say the only thing to say in moments like this: “On the count of three?”. One…two…three.


Me: Delicious! Adam: Raw Meat!


This story ends with me gobbling my Roo right up – all thoughts of Winnie the Pooh have fled – and Adam putting his back on the stove to cook some more. One more fan of Roo has been born…with every intention of converting the slightly unwilling second!

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