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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bush Tucker.

 Napping atop the microwave is possibly Kirby's favourite spot in the house.  He is out of reach of molesting hands but at the centre of all the household doings; he is warm & comfortable & food is close by; he can keep an inquisitive eye on everything anyone puts into the microwave & pretend he's not peeved it is too wet to lay under the shrubbery outside.

There are several places Kirby likes outside ~ hidden places from which he can watch the passing parade. One is under the *bush apple*.

Technically the bush apple is not an apple. It belongs to the Barringtoniaceae family ~ which is related to the freshwater mangrove.  It is also related to the myrtle & lilly~pilly & is one of the *bush tucker* plants I enthusiastically planted.  So far as I know the bush plum has never flowered let alone borne plums of any description  {even given it needs 8 or so years before it will fruit, it has had that & then some!} & if you have ever tasted lilly~pilly jam you know why I don't bother harvesting those little purple berries!  Besides the birds like them ~ which is more than can be said for the bush apple.  Nothing likes the bush apple ~ not even the bats!

I tend to do this a fair bit ~ have absolutely brilliant ideas only to find the reality is less than wonderful.  Bush tucker is like that.  I think it's a fairly acquired taste, which is a pity because this tree produces prolifically.  Here says the fruit tastes like quince.  Well, I don't like quince either.  The flesh is firm but floury ~ eeeew! And sour.

The Aborigines used the bark as a fish poison ~ one of those choice ones that kill the fish when it's put in their water but doesn't affect the humans who then feast on the fallen.  There is Saponin in the bark, which is what kills the fish, & what also enables you to lather up the bark as a soap replacement ~ only we have soap trees for that & plenty of them.  Native to the area.

Bush tucker is one of those things that seems to have taken off over the last decade or so.  In other words white, Caucasian people have taken an interest in the type & variety & uses of native flora as foods.  The EKKA usually has at least one stand devoted to a variety of native foods ~ or those things that can be derived from native foods such as jam & chutneys & a wide variety of sauces & condiments.  The Emundi markets had several people selling a variety of things last time I was there & here will sell you an array of strange & wonderful things derived from native foods.

I'm not a very adventurous or brave eater.  I like lemon myrtle & I like macadamia nuts & pine nuts [never yet met a nut I didn't like] but I've pretty much given up on other things.  They just taste really weird.  And goodness knows, no power on this earth is getting me to put a witchetty grub in my mouth!!!  Nope. Have you seen these things?


The HoJo's said...

shhhhh I ate a witchetty :o)


Ruby said...

One of our local Public Gardens (now partly submerged :-) has a wonderful native section. We took the children on a very interesting Bush Tucker tour with a very knowledable gardener. Some of the fruits, leaves and bark do taste DISGUSTING, but some have some fascinating properties.

Ganeida said...

Mrs Hojo: How could you?!!!

Ruby: I find it fascinating to study but the actual eating was less than satisfactory. I think I'll stick with my *Pink Ladies* ~ tartly sweet, firm fleshed ~ & perfectly edible! ☺

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Really?? The bush apple doesn't look all that tasty, but then again neither do pears and they're ok.

Maybe you and STAR can sell your bush apples at the farmer's market. Make sure to say they are organic, too, and you can do economics for homeschool. :)

Finding Joy said...

Big fan of pine nuts and macadamia nut - I am a nut fan and put them in almost anything!

The HoJo's said...

it was in yoghurt and tasted like chicken in sauce, it was on an excellent bushtucker and canoe trip out of Margaret River, fab day out :oD

Pen Wilcock said...

Here in England the blackberries and elder flowers and berries are probably our most popular and tasty wild food. Fungi too, but I get so scared of poisoning myself, because some of the deadly ones look similar to some of the best eating ones, so I tend to stick to shop-bought fungi. But I do feel I ought to get educated about them and try some woodland mushrooms.

Ganeida said...

HEM: Sad to say, someone would probably buy them. ☺

Jo: nuts are the best! I could live on nuts.

Hojos: I see you couldn't wait to share all the gory details! lol

Ember: while in Andorra we survived on field mushrooms. Every morning, before the dew was off the grass, we were out picking breakfast. The best mushrooms ever! Yum.

seekingmyLord said...

I have heard that nearly anything tastes good fried and covered with chocolate. Just a thought....

Joyfulmum said...

I love nuts too and no I will definitely not be eating witchetty grubs! no thanks!

Jeanne said...

Witcherry grubs look bad, but they actually taste pretty good. Especially cooked. Not so squirmy then.

The bush food phenomenon leaves me cold too.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: click on the link & then tell me that!

Joyfulmum: You & I m'dear; we'll leave those other strange ones to their even stranger food choices. ☺

Jeanne: I'm not as brave as you & food is just food: in one end, out the other.