bush tucker recipes
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Before European settlers arrived in Australia there was a thriving food culture of up to 5,000 different native foods sustaining Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. That food culture, often referred to as bush tucker or bush food was largely ignored over the past 200 years or so.

Bush tucker is innovative and unique: food sources extend from the swollen abdomens of honey ants to witchetty grubs, from goanna to nectar-bearing flowers such as the bottlebrush and ground hugging vines on the edge of the desert producing super sweet yellow berries.

Many different techniques were employed to render bush food palatable as much bush food is unsafe to be eaten in its natural state. Vegetables and seeds were pounded and sometimes hung in bags under running water to wash them clean of poisonous attributes.

Most of the animal meat is cooked on open fires, while bark troughs are used to boil foodstuffs. With the arrival of the European settlers, the loss of traditional land coupled with the availability of non-native foods resulted in a near-abandonment of this style of cooking, hunting and gathering. Up until the 1990s the only native Australian food product being commercially cultivated was the macadamia nut.

Since around 1995, Australia’s native bush foods have faced a revival. Bush foods are naturally adapted to Australia’s environment, are ecologically sound, and they are more resistant to Australia’s extremes in temperature and rainfall.

Now there is a wider availability of native Australian animal products on the market; kangaroo meat at the supermarket, crocodile and emu at the butcher and yabbies at local fish shops.

Many restaurants are incorporating bush tucker herbs and spices into their menus sometimes served with emu, crocodile, yabbies and eels. There are now producers all over the country supporting these new industries with commercial plantings of saltbush, wattleseed, quandong, bush tomato, mountain pepper, pepperberry, lemon myrtle, desert limes and muntries.  You can even find kangaroo and emu proscuitto!
Guide to Seasonal Produce


Month


Native Fruit


Native Leaf


Native Vegetable / Spices


January


Desert Limes

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley,
Samphire,
Warrigals,
Lemon Myrtle,
Native Thyme.


Marsdenia, Wattleseed,


February


Muntries

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Marsdenia, Wattleseed


March


Muntries, Wild Grapes,

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Pepperberry, Sun Dried Kutjera, S/D Passionberry,


April


Muntries

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Pepperberry, Sun Dried Kutjera, S/D Passionberry


May


N/A

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Warrigals,
River Mint,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Sun Dried Kutjera, S/D Passionberry


June



N/A

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Warrigals,
River Mint,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Sun Dried Kutjera, S/D Passionberry


July



Lilly Pilly

(riberries)

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Warrigals,
River Mint,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.

Sun Dried Kutjera, S/D Passionberry


August


Quandongs, Lilly Pilly,

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Warrigals,
River Mint,
Native Thyme.


N/A


September


Quandongs, Lilly Pilly,

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Native Thyme.


N/A


October


Quandongs, Lemon Aspen

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Native Thyme.


N/A


November



Lemon Aspen

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Native Thyme.


N/A


December



N/A

Saltbush,
Sea Parsley, Samphire, Warrigals,
Lemon Myrtle, Native Thyme.


N/A

You'll find more information about our more common bush foods at www.TasteAustralia.biz

Our Taste Australia Bush Food Shop has a range of bush and rainforest herbs available virtually year round. 

You can learn about seasonal bush produce at www.bushtuckerrecipes.com/bush_food/ 

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Aniseed Myrtle
Bush Tomato
Cinnamon Myrtle
Lemon Myrtle
Mountain Pepper
Native Basil
Native Sage
Native Thyme
Pepperberry
Peppermint Gum
Quandong
River Mint
Saltbush
Sea Parsley
Strawberry Gum
Tanami Apple
Wattleseed
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