Spag Bol: The making of and Aussie icon

For generations, Australian families have dined at home, with varying frequency, on some version of spaghetti with a sauce of tomato and minced beef. Indeed, spaghetti bolognese, or spag bol to give it its typically Australian abbreviated name, is so entrenched a part of Australian food culture that it regularly secures a place in polls of Australian national dishes. It can evoke memories both fond and fraught, usually depending on your mother’s cooking skills, adventurousness, and resourcefulness. (And it is always your mother’s, never your father’s: food memories evoked for him are about the success or otherwise of family barbecues, mostly otherwise).

Its appearance at the dinner table is popularly ascribed to either the United States serviceman who were stationed or on R & R in Sydney and Brisbane during World War Two  or Italians who migrated to Australia after World War Two as Australia sort to rapidly address its post population needs.

In this article I want to trace the development of spaghetti-based dishes in Australia which were precursors to spaghetti Bolognese and push back the entry of spaghetti Bolognese in Australia to at least 1924.

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