This article brought to you by Great Northern Brewing Co
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what traditional Australian cuisine looks like. Some might say it’s a good old meat pie with a cold Great Northern beer to wash it down, or perhaps a cheeky lamington filled with cream and jam or maybe it’s as simple as vegemite on toast?
Increasingly, however, “traditional” Aussie food is being redefined by some of our most famous chefs, as they embrace native bush ingredients, ingredients that have been used by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years.
Lemon myrtle, wattleseed, riberries, bush tomatoes and native thyme are becoming more popular on menus all over the country. Even international chefs are curious about how to incorporate our unique Aussie flavours in their cuisine.
And while Australia is slowly welcoming meats like Kangaroo and crocodile, which can be bought in supermarkets all over the country, bush spices and flavours are still fairly unknown by the general public who till now have favored well-known international plant flavours.
So how can you incorporate bush flavours in your next meal?
Warrigal Greens was the first Australian food plant to be used overseas. The native spinach has a unique taste and pairs well with kangaroo and beetroot. Try subbing your general spinach for warrigal greens in your next salad.
Qandongs are highly a nutritious native fruit with twice as much vitamin C as an orange. These sweet fruits are ideal in sweet pies or made into chutneys to sauce your next steak.
Wattleseed (acacia) found on the famous Australian wattle plant, is ideal for spice mixtures and rubs for your next BBQ. The little seeds are packed full of protein but be careful, not all the seeds of the wattle plant are edible.
Native thyme has a similar taste as regular thyme, however, is much easier to grow. This herb, unlike regular thyme, is quite intense, so use sparingly. Native thyme can easily replace regular thyme in any recipe.
Finger limes have become quite popular of late and have beautiful and unique texture. Their flavour is similar to that of lime and are full of beautiful caviar like jewels, like a pomegranate. They pair particularly well with seafood, especially as garnish on oysters.
Instead of reaching for the same old familiar flavours for your next BBQ, think about venturing out into some aussie scrub; bring a few mates, a case of Great Northern beer, and keep your eyes peeled for wattleseed, lemon myrtle or native thyme to pepper to add to your next BBQ.