Eating with the AU: Rosella's 120th Birthday - Cremorne (Melbourne)

Who doesn’t love a bit of tomato sauce on their meat? If you’re like us, then a barbecue is nothing without the good ol’ richly flavoured condiment and it just won’t taste right unless its the one whose name is shared with a colourful native bird, Rosella.

This month sees the iconic Australian brand celebrating 120 years in the soup and sauce industry, though the path to where they have come today has not been without hiccups. Founded in 1895, Rosella changed hands a number of times prior to being rescued from receivership by Sabrands in 2013. Although Rosella has previously utilised imported tomatoes in their famous products, Sabrands took steps immediately to return production to its founding mission. These days, the Australian family owned and manufactured food icon supports the local agricultural industry and to their credit, uses only the freshest available homegrown ingredients.

“We are extremely proud of our history, growing from humble beginnings in a backyard-operation in Carlton to a much-loved Aussie brand,” says Dan Presser, chairman of Sabrands and owner of Rosella. “Whether it was diggers during World Wars I and II enjoying a little bit of home with every mouthful of our tomato soup on the frontline, or kids through the decades devouring snags smothered in our tomato sauce at school sausage sizzles, Rosella is a taste we all grew up with”.

Within the Cremorne home of Rosella’s original factories, the spirit of Rosella’s 120th birthday was certainly felt last week. Having previously posed naked for a pop-art piece depicting an oversized bottle of tomato sauce, renowned television presenter Sally Williams played the perfect host at a private barbecue in honour of Rosella’s important milestone.

Meanwhile, Australian barbecue king Ben Farley revealed the secrets behind Rosella’s 120 year-old tomato sauce recipe as he cooked up a delicious assortment of BBQ delights.

The celebration was capped off by the special appearance of Rosella’s eye-catching 1925 Ford T Model classic hot rod, which had guests clambering for photos in the afternoon sun.

“It is immensely warming to see how Rosella has become so much more than its products,” says Dan. “The 120th celebrations are as much about Australia’s heritage as it is about the brand. We’re looking forward to celebrating the produce, the people and the memories that have turned Rosella into a brand of the people.”

We managed to get Ben to provide us with his top 10 BBQ tips which you can find along with a special recipe HERE

For more information regarding Rosella, head to

Photos by Serena Ho for the AU Review, lamb riblets image supplied