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Bush foods

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Matilda L

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Bush foods

by Matilda L » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:48 am

The Francophile and I went to dinner at friends' place last Saturday night. Dinner for seven people, with the theme of Australian indigenous foods. It was a sumptuous degustation menu:

Prosecco with fingerlime pearls and wild hibiscus flower

Mushroom, lentil and pepperberry soup with wattleseed and lemon myrtle damper

Barramundi baked in paperbark; coleslaw with samphire, karkalla, muntries and bush currants; SA oysters with blood lime zest; St Vincent Gulf prawns in orange and native tamarind butter

Green Ant Gin and tonic with pigface flowers and a grevillea swizzle stick

Warrigal greens pasta with a bolognaise sauce of buffalo and kangaroo

Then a lengthy parade of delicious desserts: macadamia nut and lemon aspen crumble; fruit compote of quandongs, Davidson’s plum, bush currants, rainforest lychee; home made ice cream flavoured with Geraldton Wax and bush honey; peppermint gum and river mint kladkakka (chocolate cake); quandongs coated in chocolate; strawberry gum cream horn with lilli-pilli jam.

It must have taken them all day to prepare. The flavours were amazing.
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Jenise

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Re: Bush foods

by Jenise » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:38 am

Wow, just wow. Of course I don't even know what half those things are, but that kind of cooking is the absolute pinnacle of maximalist local food expertly crafted.

Were there green ants in the gin?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Bush foods

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:36 pm

Matilda, thanks for that report! You've put in mind of the one time I was in your country and went to a 'bush tucker' restaurant. I remember the damper - it's a funny sort of bread, kinda crumbly, no stretch at all. I remember a kangaroo steak (somewhat like lamb), and, at a different restaurant, an amazing baby barramundi that I still covet.

We can get finger limes, hibiscus, and samphire here but none of the others.

Geraldton Wax is just for decoration, right? I've read somewhere that it's pretty invasive.

Pigface flowers... what did they ever do to you? :)
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Matilda L

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Re: Bush foods

by Matilda L » Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:27 am

Jenise, I hadn't tasted half those things before! It was a revelation. As for the green ant gin, there were no ants floating in the bottle, but apparently the ants had been dumped into the gin spirit in the same way as juniper berries and other botanicals are, to infuse the flavours.

The Francophile and I tasted green ants when we were on a bush walk with an Aboriginal guide in far north Queensland a few years ago. He found a trail of the ants going up a tree trunk and showed us how to catch them without getting stung and how to break off the abdomen in our mouths to taste the acidic flavour. Poor ants - dead in the cause.

The Geraldton Wax icecream was, I think, made with honey produced from Geraldton Wax flowers, but I didn't take all the information in, the cook had so much she was trying to tell us about the food. Geraldton Wax can be an invasive plant but apart from specimens growing in gardens, we don't see it where I live. It hasn't established in the bush here as a garden escape, and it's not native to these parts. (We have plenty of invasive plants in our bushlands, don't need another one, even if you can make icecream with it.)

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