Category Archives: Native Tastes of Australia

The iconic super charged Australian Boab

Adansonia gregorii – the Australian Boab

One of 3000 Boab trees in the Kimberley

A stark leafless tree during the dry season, brilliant green during the wet season, it is held in high regard by the Aborigines of the Kimberley Region who call it Larrkardiy.

There are 3000-odd boab trees that are dotted around the Kimberley region with one at Derby listed as 1500 years old. The trees have been providing shelter, food and medicine for our First Nations people for thousands of years.

Boab nut season runs from March to October and is a valuable source of medicinal ingredients. The high vitamin C and calcium content of young leaves and especially the seed-pod pith, makes it a valued commodity. The bark is also used to treat fever, as it contains properties similar to quinine.

Inside the hard case of a boab nut, there is a creamy-white fruit in which the seeds are nestled. This dry powdery fruit pulp, with its tangy citrus flavour, has six times more vitamin C than oranges, and twice as much calcium as milk. It is also rich in other vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, and PP), minerals (phosphorus, iron, sodium, zinc, magnesium and potassium), dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble) and amino acids*.

Boab Powder, high in vitamins, iron, zinc, protein, potassium, calcium and dietary fibre, is 100% Western Australian boab.

Take two teaspoons of Boab Powder:

  • SPRINKLE… onto fruit, cereal, yoghurt & pancakes
  • BAKE… into bread, brownies, cakes & cookies
  • STIR… into porridge, desserts, soups, hot water & lemon
  • SHAKE… into water, fruit juice, coconut water & salad dressings
  • BLEND… into sauces, milkshakes, smoothies & ice creams

Available for purchase HERE

My Bush Food Kitchen

I first started experimenting with ingredients native to Australia in 1997 but it wasn’t until around 10 years later after a chance meeting with Mike and Gayle Quarmby , creators of Outback Pride, at the Adelaide Showgrounds that I recognised an opportunity to promote and market our unique foods.
“All we need to do now is to get people to eat this stuff” Gayle told me. It was a lightbulb moment.

MY BUSH FOOD KITCHEN


Taste Australia Bush Food Shop started by stocking the products that Outback Pride had developed thus far.
They included jams, sauces, cordials and seasoning mixes. It evolved into the largest range of dried ingredients I could source and with it came much experimentation in the kitchen. Today we have over 40 different ingredients plus a wide range of value added products.


As Co-Vid19 altered our lifestyles I decided to take advantage and document my culinary creations. It was tricky to remember to write them down because I incorporate native ingredients without thinking about it.

CLICK HERE FOR the first edition of MY Bush Food Kitchen- a free downloadable PDF

Dog’s Balls

 A low-lying shrub with broad, velvety leaves, now known as the Grewia savannicola is about to find its way to the Aussie table. The fruit generally has two seeds that are fused together side by side, covered in soft hairs, that hang down on a short stalk.

The bush, found across northern Australia and first discovered by Europeans near the Endeavour River in far north Queensland, has long been used by Indigenous people to treat dysentery and diarrhoea.

Drop a handful of fruit in 500ml water, boil for 10 minutes, strain and drink. A delicious brew.

Available soon at Taste Australia Bush Food Shop

Wild Pepper & White Kunzea

Wild Pepper and White Kunzea Sea Salt 

We’ve blended the sweet citrusy eucalypt flavour of White Kunzea with  Mountain Pepper from Tasmania’s rainforests and Sea Salt from the pristine waters off the island’s east coast

Particularly nice as a rub on boneless roast lamb or sprinkled over sweet ripe tomatoes and smashed avocado on toast.

White Kunzea is a lovely sweet (almost honey like) fragrant tiny leaf with hints of eucalypt and citrus, makes a great tea, and many uses as an infusion

Ingredients: Sea Salt, Mountain Pepper and White Kunzea

Discover Australia Through Her Food

Like many lands, Australia is a multi-cultural society enjoying food from varying cultures but until recent times our very own naturally occurring foods have been overlooked. Although much of this continent looks barren and infertile, there is an abundance of food and this collection of seasonings aims to bring attention to some of the ingredients endemic to our Pacific Ocean home.

  • Bush Tomato Seasoning is perfect for pizzas, pasta, salsa, sauces, seafood, vegetables and casseroles.  It can be used in many dishes where a dash of spicy tomato is required. It has the right amount of bush tomato to balance the bitterness of bush tomato. Ingredients: Australian Tomato, Sea Salt, Bush Tomato, Aniseed Myrtle, Mountain Pepper, Paprika and Garlic
  • Desert Fire Seasoning adds a bit of bite to any dish.  Ingredients: Saltbush, Chilli, Sea Salt, Mountain Pepper, Lemon Aspen, Garlic and Ginger.
  • Desert Flakes Seasoning to be used as seasoning, in sauces and casseroles or as a sprinkle over bread, meat, vegetables or pasta dishes.  Ingredients: Saltbush, Sea Salt, Bush Tomato, Wattleseed, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Pepper, and garlic.
  • Swagmans Salt is used in breads, salsas, salad, tomato based dishes. Ingredients: Sea Salt, Native Basil, Sea Parsley, Native Thyme , Saltbush & Mountain  Pepper.
  • Tropical Pepperberry Sea Salt Use it as a rub or to add a kick to any dish.  Particularly nice sprinkled over sweet ripe tomatoes and smashed avocado.  Ingredients: Sea salt, Mountain pepper and Lemon Aspen

Mountain Pepperberry: Plentiful again and perfect for Winter

Used both as an ornamental as well as a bush tucker plant the cool climate Mountain Pepper produce both a leaf and a berry.  The leaf provides a mild pepper taste but the berry has an unexpected zing.  Just when you think they are sweet their kick begins.  To some it could be quite hot.

Pepperberries are more versatile than conventional peppercorn, able to be used in sweet and savoury dishes.   The leaves, stems and berries have an aromatic peppery taste producing approx. 3 times the anti-oxidants of blueberries.

Pepperberry not only adds depth to a casserole or slow cooker, it imparts a beautiful rich burgundy colour to the dish.

Slow cooked Pepperberry Wagyu  (perfect for Winter)

Ingredients
2 small red onions
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 red capsicum
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
420gm cubed Wagyu Chuck Beef
1 Tablespoon Pepperberry – coarse ground of whole
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon Bush Tomato 

Dice the vegetables and place in the slow cooker, add garlic, beef, Pepperberry, Tomato paste and water. Mix well to combine.

Slow cook for 7 hours.

10 minutes before serving add bush tomato seasoning and salt to taste. Serve with pasta, steamed beans and wild rocket salad.

Native Juniper

Boobialla is a native juniper berry and has a distinct flavour

A new publication called Warndu Mai (Good Food)  shows you how to embrace our country’s native ingredients and create truly Australia food and drinks at home.

Rebecca Sullivan and Damien Coulthard combine to bring you information, inspiration and practical ways to start using the foods that have grown in this country for thousands of years.

Boobialla Bitters

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Wait Time: 6 weeks

Ingredients (Makes 250ml)

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large sterilised jar, seal and shake well.
     
  2. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks to infuse.
     
  3. Strain into a sterilised jar.
     
  4. Use 1–2 tablespoons in your drink as a bitter flavouring.
     
  5. For a digestif, serve in a small glass or on ice.

Davidsons Plum Paste on your next cheese platter

Davidson Plum Paste (The Cook & the Chef)

Ingredients

¼ cup water

885gm Davidson Plum puree

885g sugar

2 teaspoons aniseed myrtle

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Puree plums in blender or food processor. In a large heavy pot, pour in the water & plums. Stir in the sugar, then the aniseed myrtle and the lemon juice.

Cook on a high heat, stirring continually, for about 20 min. It’s ready when it’s just short of being toffee.

Pour into a shallow dish. Allow to cool & set. This keeps if well sealed.

Serve spoonfuls of paste with strong sharp cheese & walnut toast.

Geraldton Wax finds a place in our kitchens

This iconic Australian plant native to Western Australia, loves a dry climate.  The flowers are used extensively in arrangements but the highly aromatic leaves have found a place in our kitchen.

Geraldton Wax adds a citrusy flavour to your beverages and meals.

Classed as Australia’s version of kaffir lime.

PURCHASE HERE

 

Incorporating bush food in your daily life

If native foods are to become mainstream, we need to use them in our home cooking. Many plants are known by their traditional or botanic origins. In some cases it is difficult to understand what they are or what you are supposed to do with them……..grind it and use it as a sauce; cook as a thick spinach; boil and serve as a root vegetable; eat as a fresh fruit or preserve as a jam?

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