Fads like microbrews and natural wines might come and go but chicken parmigiana will always remain a mainstay of the Aussie pub scene.

The chicken parmigiana (affectionately called parma, parmi by the locals) is found everywhere in Australia from pubs , specialty chains such as Shnitz to upmarket dining venues. An undeniable favourite amongst the locals, chicken parmigiana is a dish of fried breaded chicken topped with tomato sauce, ham/bacon and melted cheese. The dish is typically served with a side of French fries and salad. In Australia, pubs are fantastic places to eat. Naturally, mains such as chicken parmigiana makes a perfect pairing with a tall pint of icy cold beer.

While chicken parmigiana is often assumed to be an Italian dish, it is actually a twist on an original Italian recipe – the eggplant parmigiana. In the original version, eggplant is breaded and fried, topped with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese before being baked. It is said that the chicken parmigiana was invented in the United States by Italian-American communities. A mixture of the scarcity of eggplants and the popularity of meat in the United States was said to inspire the dish. Whatever the history of the dish is, what’s undeniable is its popularity in Australia today. Whether one is in a pub tucked away in a bustling metropolis like Melbourne, or a drinking hole in regional town in the Northern Territories, chances are chicken parmigiana is on the menu.


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North Melbourne, VIC, Australia

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Categories: Food Melbourne