From the day my parents arrived in Australia from Singapore in the ’70s, they took it upon themselves to discover their new world.
When I came along a few years later, every holiday involved loading us into the car, banging on a bit of classical music, and heading out onto the open road. From Ulladulla to Hill End, the Gold Coast and the parade of big things, from Pineapple to Prawn, we clocked up a lot of miles in the old Volvo of my childhood. That love of road trips rubbed off.
The destination is one thing, but what you see (and eat) along the way is just as exciting. To that end, I submit: the country pie. Aside from the chance for much-needed leg stretching, I’m obsessed with stopping for country bakeries like Fredo Pies.
What used to be a tiny blue and green mural-covered shop that signalled northern NSW beachside holidays is now a lovely little café.
We all have our pie preferences (mine’s chicken and mushroom or pepper steak), but Fredo also flirts with more fantastic flights of fancy – kangaroo and bush spices, spicy coconut beef, and satay chicken, for instance.
Whichever you choose, there’s something about the golden, flaky pastry top, molten savoury centre and slightly smooshy pastry base that really speaks to me. I’m also a pie purist, so no discussion will be had about cutlery – there should be none.
There’s also something truly Australian about standing on the footpath by the car, eating a pie from a paper bag and letting the summer breeze brush away crumbs of pastry.
On every road trip, I hope to discover places like Fredo. When you find a good one, it becomes part of your story, as precious as every holiday ritual we cherish from our childhood, and beyond.