Thursday, September 3, 2009

Australian Bush Tucker

By Jennifer Schellington

A trip to Australia should include some fantastic meals. The food and wine here in Australia is good value and, in my opinion, out of this world. Australia is an immigrant country which means there is a massive fusion of tastes and styles that can be explored by your taste buds.

If you want to taste real Australian food, then you need to step back in time to when the Aboriginals were the only settlers here in Australia.

Aborigines are the original inhabiters of Australia and the word "Aboriginal" means "Indigenous to Australia." These are the people that lived in Australia before it was discovered by the British and Europeans. They would eat whatever they could find on the land. This included seeds, nuts and plants. They also ate lots of fish and some meats such as Kangaroo and Crocodile

This food is known as Bush Tucker. The word bush tucker refers to the food that aboriginals used to eat and some still do today.

These days you can find the key bush tucker ingredients in gourmet jams and chutneys. Clearly this is not how the original aborigines consumed it. You will also see BUSH TUCKER on menus in outback Australia and this generally means you can experience foods such as Kangaroo, crocodile and Emu.

Some of you may have seen programmes on the television with celebrities having to eat live bugs. This has been made famous through "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!" which is filmed in Queensland, Australia. It is true that the Aboriginals did eat Witchetty bugs and they are in fact a delicacy. You have to squeeze their white insides into your mouth, a bit like you would swallow an oyster. You won't find this on many menus and clearly the idea is very off putting for many.

Key Bush Tucker Ingredients

There are many different types of traditional Bush Tucker foods but here are a few:

Finger Lime has a zesty fragrance so these days you will find it in expensive Australian marmalades.

Warrigal Greens are a plant and are a bit like spinach. An interesting fact is that Captain Cook shipped the seeds back to Britain to prevent the disease called scurvy.

Lemon Myrtle This is a key ingredient used for cooking but also as a healing plant. It also has a high content of Citral which is used to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Macadamia Nuts These are perhaps one of the most famous food exports of Australia. If you are intending to visit Australia, you will find them in most souvenir shops, usually coated in chocolate.

There are plenty of places throughout Australia where you can experience Bush Tucker. There are outback restaurants that specialise in meat, local farm shops where you can taste fabulous pickles and jams using these ingredients but the best way is probably to take part in a guide tour in the bush or outback. Here an Aboriginal will point out the various plants for you and explain what they are used for. The finale of the tour usually finishes in a tasting session. For more details on where to go to experience Bush Tucker visit the Real Australia Travel Website.

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