Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bush Tucker

Bush tucker or bush food is the name given to the food eaten by the Aborigines or the native people of Australia. It has also come to mean any type of plant or animal that is utilized as a food source regardless of whether it is a native species of Australia or not.

It has been estimated that there has been human habitation in Australia for the past 60,000 years and during that period, humans there have learned and developed techniques on how they can prepare their food.  One of the most common methods of food preparation is baking. This is done either through the coals of a campfire or through the ground after wrapping the food.

The encroachment of settlers on lands that once belonged to Aborigines have seriously affected their way of life. Their food sources have been depleted by the land use and they have been strongly influenced by modern food. Because of that, the tradition for bush tucker is slowly being lost with each generation. The interest in bush tucker saw some revival in the 70s.That was the time when Australians began to see the nutritional and commercial value of Aboriginal food sources.

Game and Meat
Since Australia is known for its unique animals it is understandable how the meat of its native fauna is part of the Aborigine diet. Kangaroo, wombat and emu are just some of the animals that are hunted for food in Australia. Normally the meat of these animals is prepared by cooking them on the ground or in coals of a campfire.

Fruits and Vegetables
There is even a greater variety of native Australian plants used for food. Here are some of the best examples.

This plant belongs to the Sandalwood family. The fruit of the plant is used mainly for its exotic flavour. It has become one of the most well-known bush tucker.  While the fruit is more popular today, the aborigines preferred to eat the nuts.

The Kutjera is also known as the Australian desert raisin is one of the so-called “bush tomatoes”. The fruits have a strong distinctive taste which makes it ideal for use on sauces. Grounded kutjera is now commercially available.

Macadamia Nut
Probably the most common type of bush tucker that people outside of Australia are aware of is the macadamia nut. Arguably it is the bush food that is harvested and sold in the largest commercial amounts. The macadamia is a tree that can be found in many parts of Australia and has been used by aborigines for thousands of years.

Warrigal Greens
If what you are after are leafy green vegetables then Warringal greens is just the thing for you.  This is the most popular green bush tucker. European explorers spread its use when they utilized it to combat scurvy.

Mountain Pepper
The Mountain Pepper is native to the woodlands part of Australia. The leaves and the berries of the plants can be used as substitute for pepper. In fact it is being exported now to Japan for use as flavouring for wasabi.

This tasty article is courtesy of the team at Gaddys Plant Hire, we're Sydney specialists in the office plant hire game. Bet you're feeling hungry after reading that one? Sorry about that! We wrote this article because we love plants, and what's better than plants you can eat!

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