We have a very hot food trend going on here at the moment — Aussie bush tucker. It started a few years ago and has seen some pretty consistent growth in popularity here in Perth, though I understand it’s happening all across the country.
The Guy from the Internet includes a couple of delectable treats, namely lemon myrtle biscuits and wattle seed coffee, both hailing from Holly’s best friend, Jedda. I didn’t get to detail this in the book, but for anyone interested, Jedda is of mixed-race with the Aboriginal side of her family from Bunbury. Which I think may make her a Pinjarup Noongar woman. (For the record, I won’t be writing a story for Jedda, but if you are interested in reading Aboriginal romance, start with this cute and hilarious one.)
I digress. This post is supposed to be about Aussie bushfoods. Namely, my five favourite Aussie bushfoods. Let’s begin…
1. Lemon myrtle
If you find a range of bushfood-flavoured snacks and beverages, you’ll very likely run into the lemon myrtle. It’s nicknamed the “Queen of Lemon Herbs” due to its very high content to the essential oil, citral. I have about five different teas in my collection that include lemon myrtle and each gives me a mild headache when I drink it 😅 Lemon myrtle, however, is often used in the treatment of headaches and migraines, so maybe I just have a limited tolerance for it. But I rather fancy it in a sponge cake.
Also known as a native peach, quandong is the fruit of a particular type of sandalwood tree. It’s considered a superfood rich in vitamins and minerals. I’ve only had dried quandongs on their own, but once had them in a fruit sauce at a bushfood tasting night by a local chef. Taste-wise, I reckon they’re pretty special. They have a great combination of sweetness and tartness that’s just enough to make you want to keep eating.
3. Midyim berries
I was not prepared for how unique midyim berries are, even with their odd little appearance. They’re like a white blueberry with tiny purple speckles, and where you’d expect to get an ordinary fruity sweetness, you get what tastes like a gingerbread man. Not exaggerating, and although we’ve had our midyim berry bush for three years now, I still can’t get over how unusual and lovely this fruit is. If you ever get a chance to buy/eat/grow these, definitely do it. It’s one to tell your friends about.
A couple years ago, I tried a fancy cocktail with muntries in it and have craved it ever since. They’re a strange little fruit, struck me like a cross between a sultana and a guava in flavour. I’m sure there’s a more accurate way to describe it, but I only got to have it soaked in spices and other flavours of alcohol 🍹 The plant itself is a spreading ground cover, said to be very easy to grow and usually recommended for filling gaps in a garden bed.
5. WA Samphire
This one’s super local and so very tasty. It’s a very slender segmented succulent that pulls up salt from the ground. When you grow it at home, you’re supposed to water it with sea-salt water or sprinkle salt into the soil for optimal flavours when you harvest. You can have it raw (very refreshing), tossed in a stir-fry, or dipped like Pocky in a dark chocolate (I got the recipe from this book).
Image by andy ballard from Pixabay