Australian Native Nosh

Splendid lunchtime presentation on Australian bush tucker today, by Danny Doyle of the Jagara people, local to parts of the Brisbane area. Some tasty discoveries, including some things I’d seen and wondered about being able to eat, like native ginger and blue quandong. Would love to learn (and taste) more, but here’s an electric taste for now…

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Real Australian Nosh

People ask occasionally what is typical Australian food. The answer, if more than a shrug, rarely includes native foods, but a hands-down, heads-off favourite of mine is the Bunya nut. They come in “kegs” (like a giant pine-cone) bigger than a football and that weighs up to 10 kilograms, and are abundant in 3 to 7 year cycles. This year, wonderfully, happens to be one of those bumper years. They come from the Bunya pine (Araucaria bidwillii), which dates back as far as the Jurassic period – long before Australia was its own continent – which might explain a little of how its seeds were once distributed.

P1310953And the nuts are delicious. If you find any around, here are some ideas about how to cook them:

No-fuss Bunya Nut Cookery

Bunya bush tucker

(They can be eaten raw, but cooking adds a great deal of deliciousness)

Update: Here’s a nice little article on how the cultural elements of the bumper bunya nut harvests are returning to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.