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Monash University Publishing | 2024

Since its inception in 1933, The Australian Women’s Weekly has been Australia’s highest-selling women’s magazine, in large part due to its hugely popular cookery section and companion cookbooks. From birthday cakes to barbecues, mock meat to Chinese food, the Weekly taught generations of Australians what to eat and how to cook it at home. Yet despite this, the magazine and its influence on Australian cooking has been overlooked in histories of Australian food. A Matter of Taste restores the Weekly to its rightful place at the centre of Australia’s food culture.

Drawing on recipes, food editorials and readers’ memories, A Matter of Taste is a celebration of the Weekly’s vital role in the development of Australian food culture, debunking the myth that Australian food was ‘bland’ and ‘boring’ prior to postwar migration, and illuminating important relationships between food, culture and identity. It shows that the magazine encouraged its readers (mostly women) to be adventurous, to experiment in the kitchen, and to try new ingredients and flavours, stimulating an eclectic, Australian way of eating, which is still reflected on our tables today.

Meticulously researched and beautifully presented, A Matter of Taste takes you on an entertaining, nostalgic and insightful culinary journey through Australian food, culture and history.


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