Is there anything more Australian than Bush Tucker?
Australia has some of the most beautiful landscapes, stunning beaches, delightful native wildlife and deliciously unique food. From Vegemite to Lamingtons, Pavlovas to Sausage Rolls, Australia has a culinary style of their own. But is there anything more quintessentially Australian than Bush Tucker?
This term Bush Tucker refers to Native Australian food. It encompasses food that was consumed by the original inhabitants of this land, the Aboriginal Australians, prior to colonisation and is still consumed around the country today in various ways.
Although you will rarely find items such as witchetty grubs on a mainstream menu these days, there are many items on the Bush Tucker list that are consumed on a daily basis and can be included in a great deal of popular and specialised recipes. These food items include, but are not limited to, popular items such as lemon myrtle, macadamia nuts, wattle seed, peanuts, finger limes, lady apples, fish, mud crabs and ducks. Less popular items that have all but disappeared from consumption, or aren’t considered a mainstream food choice for the majority of modern Australians, include kangaroo, snake, emu and witchetty grubs.
These foods supported the Aboriginal people for generations, providing everything they needed to survive and thrive. Individually these items were a good source of vitamins and minerals, but together they provided a well-rounded diet. For example, witchetty grubs are high in calcium and protein and contain a great deal of the vitamins and minerals required to support a balanced diet.
Some of the more prevalent Bush Tucker items that are found in a variety of dishes today include the finger lime, wattle seed & lemon myrtle.
Aboriginal Australians traditionally cooked wattle seeds or dried them to make flour. Wattle seeds are edible seeds from Australian acacia. Nowadays you can use wattle seed powder to flavour ice-cream, cheesecake, chocolate cake, granola or even your coffee.
We here at My Private Chef are blessed with access to an array of incredible Australian flavours for our menus and proudly created a Modern Australian menu for our guests. Many of these ingredients are easily accessible in supermarkets whereas others are more unique and can be found in specialty Bush Tucker stores around the country. So, the next time you are planning to entertain, be sure to consider including some of these beautifully rich Native Australian flavours to add a little something extra to your meal.
Finger limes are also known as fruit caviar. This lime is a native fruit to the subtropical rainforests of South QLD. The delicate pearls encased within the skin contain a delicious lemon/lime flavour that is a perfect finish to a delicious tuna tartare or strawberry fruit salad.
Lemon myrtle has become one of the most popular Australian native herbs due in large part to its strong refreshing aroma. The leaves have been used in both cooking ingredients and as a medicinal plant by the Aboriginal Australians. You may use dried lemon myrtle leaf in infused hot or iced teas, as a topping in salads or as a dry rub for meat or fish. We highly recommend adding lemon myrtle to your next cheesecake!