Sunshine Coast chefs are bracing themselves for a charge of chicken parmigiana orders this weekend as growing numbers of Queenslanders choose the iconic pub dish to celebrate Australia Day.
Popular bistro chain, Beach House Bar and Grill, dishes up about 108,000 parmies a year which equates to 9000 a month for each of its ten venues across the state’s south east.
With six different versions of chicken parmigianas on the menu at the Beach House at Nambour and Maroocyhdore – from traditional to Hawaiian and Mexican-style, sales of the dish have risen by 12 per cent across the group in the past year.
Co-owner of Beach House Bar and Grill Nick Rosato, said the CBD bistro already dished up about 100 plates of parmie and chips a day, but he expected this to increase by 15 or 20 per cent on Australia Day.
“The most popular variety is usually the traditional parmigiana but, on Australia Day, the number one order is the ‘green and gold’ version, which is a chicken schnitzel topped with fresh avocado, cheese and sweet chilli sauce,” he said.
The parmie was the only Australian inclusion on CNN’s list of the world’s 50 best foods when it was ranked 37thi, while a survey by Skyscanner nominated it as Australia’s most popular traditional food.
With an estimated 6000 pubs and bars in Australia, the parmie may have already eclipsed the Aussie meat pie as our favourite dish with an estimated 270 million pastry-filled parcels sold each year.
“The parmie just gets more and more popular every year,” Mr Rosato said.
“Chicken parmigiana is one dish we would never be able to remove from our menu.
“It’s become such a staple on Australia pub and hotel menus that there’d be outcry if it disappeared.”
Mr Rosato said the appeal of the dish was its simplicity.
“A crispy piece of crumbed fried chicken, topped with ham, cheese or other trimmings and served with crunchy fries and some fresh salad,” he said.
“It doesn’t get better than that on Australia Day.”