As we travel along this vast Continent of Australia, we become acclimated to a new type of breakfast: Coffee and Bircher Muesli.
The Coffee in Australia is excellent. Italian immigrants invaded Australia about a century ago and brought with them the Italian secret of Espresso. Coffee in Australia is almost as good as it is in Italy. I say “Almost” because there are not enough “Coffee Artists” or “Baristas” to fill all the coffee shops in Australia.
It takes a talented, well trained and hard working “Barista” to make a good cup of coffee. Many of the Aussie Baristas come from countries such as India and China, and they have no personal background in making an Italian Espresso. Nonetheless, they are good enough to have chased the Giant American Coffee Giant called “Starbucks” from almost every city in Australia.
Starbucks type coffee, which is now offered in McDonald’s, is watered down sewage, supported by intense and billion dollar advertising, and swilled by people willing to get their caffeine fix at the expense of good flavor.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., there is practically no other choice. But, in Australia, where chain stores are rare, there are local coffee shops and breakfast shops on every block. The good ones are packed with people and the poor ones are empty. If you go into a crowded breakfast shop in Australia you can be guaranteed good coffee.
THE “FLAT WHITE”
In Italy, we call it a Cappuccino. The Aussies call it a Flat White. If you want it made with skim milk, it becomes a: Skinny Flat White.
Since the Aussies are primarily displaced British convicts, they like to tinker with the English language. Instead of “Hello” it is “HI, There!” Instead of the pronoun “You” it is “Hey Mate!” And everything is said with a big smile. The Aussies are probably the friendliest and most honest people on the planet.
Like the native animals of the Australian Continent, they have no fear, since no one has ever attacked them. In addition, since there are so few Australians for the amount of land available, they relish the opportunity of meeting other humans. Away from the major cities, Australia is a lonely place.
Like their ancestors, the Brits, Aussies eat a large breakfast. They like eggs and sausages and large pieces of bread with veggies and other fat meats such as bacon and ham. This type of heavy breakfast produces constipation, so in reaction, many Aussies eat a form of cereal filled with oats called Muesli.
“Muesli” is a Swiss-German word related to “Porridge” in English. The present form of “Muesli” was perfected by a Swiss doctor whose name was Dr. Bircher. The present cereal, named in honor of Dr. Bircher is called: “Bircher-Muesli.” It is a Raw Food cereal.
Dr. Bircher was in charge of a hospital in the Swiss Alps. His patients were older and very weak. Many of them had tuberculosis. He knew he had to give them something that would prevent constipation and yet provide energy and protein for cell repair. Oats are good for fiber, nuts are good for oils and proteins, and raw fruit provides vitamins and more fiber.
Since Dr. Bircher was working in the Alps over a century ago, energy was a major factor. Cooking was costly. In addition, Dr. Bircher felt that raw fruits, nuts and grains had more nutrition than cooked food. Dr. Bircher, like so many good doctors, followed his intuition and prescribed his mixture raw.
Today, in Australia, you can have it either way, but, in my opinion, Raw Bircher Muesli is the best way to go. Milk is added to the mixture, and if you can get Raw Milk, that is even better.
There is an ever growing movement amongst Food Intellectuals towards Raw Foods. The argument that favors Raw Foods is that our body has not changed genetically since we ate raw food prior to the use of cooking.
It is very true that there has been no genetic change of any important degree in the last thirty to fifty thousand years. The enzymes created in the glands of the mouth and stomach, liver and pancreas are the same that were created prior to cooking. We know this from studies of close relatives such as chimpanzees.
In addition, food has not changed. As a specie we have chosen to use seed grains such as wheat, rice and corn over other seeds, but all other plants, nuts, berries and meats are unchanged.
These being the facts, is it not better to return to the state of eating and digesting food that our body had evolved to prior to the discovery of fire and cooking?
Of course it is!
If an engine is designed for gasoline, it becomes much more inefficient using diesel.
During the cooking process, many vitamins and other valuable nutrients are either lost or changed when exposed to heat.
THE PROBLEM OF INFECTION
However, there is always a problem of “infection” and “infestation”.
“Infection” is the colonization of food with bacteria, fungi or other micro-organisms.
“Infestation” is the colonization of food with “parasites” such as worms or other small creatures which, upon entering our bodies, could kill us.
Cooking kills both the micro-organisms and the parasites.
FOR THIS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT REASON, WE SHOULD COOK OUR FOOD IF WE ARE UNCERTAIN OF ITS PURITY. IF WE ARE CERTAIN OF ITS PURITY, WE SHOULD EAT THAT FOOD RAW.
There is an entire Field of Medicine, called Tropical Medicine that deals with the diseases caused by eating raw foods.
Yet, many foods are unnecessarily cooked. Raw Milk is “Pasteurized” or “Cooked” today, because in the past, cows were infected with tuberculosis. Today, in all civilized countries there are no cases of tuberculosis amongst the cows. As a consequence, there is no need for “Cooking” or “Pasteurizing” milk.
However, the health departments of modern countries follow the laws that were enacted decades ago and it is very difficult to get “Raw Milk.’
In Australia, most areas require that milk be cooked and raw cow milk is difficult to obtain. Goat milk and sheep milk, however, is available in the raw state. Personally, I believe that Goat Milk and Sheep Milk are better than Cow Milk.
Both of the small animals produce a milk with more protein than cow milk. The milk of the small animals produces less allergies that cow milk. Most likely because people have been using cow milk for centuries and have developed allergies to the molecules in the milk.
FINISHING THE AUSTRALIAN BREAKFAST
In the Australian Breakfast Shoppes there is always a display of Australian pastries.
The Australian have weird imaginations when it comes to food.
I suppose if you consider kangaroo meat and crocodile meat part of your cuisine, and if, in addition, you have all the fruits of the tropics and Asia, you can invent some strange desserts.
After breakfast, most of our party will examine the pastry display that is always available.
This will run the gauntlet of every conceivable combination of something sweet like honeys or dates, something chewy like figs or fruits and something crunchy like dozens of nuts, from pine nuts to pistachios and hazel nuts.
All of these ingredients are pushed together on a large platter, sliced into rectangles or rolled into cords and then cut and perhaps sprinkled with powdered sugar.
After eating this breakfast, you are ready to go into the wilderness of the Outback and tangle with some kangaroos.