Dis­cover our bush tucker

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Maryanne Taouk

A SPRIN­KLE of le­mon myr­tle or a hand­ful of quan­dong can work won­ders on your next meal.

In­dige­nous chef Mark Olive, from Black Olive gourmet cater­ing, would like to see ev­ery Aus­tralian kitchen em­brac­ing na­tive cui­sine, and get­ting ex­cited about cre­at­ing meals that bring the great outdoors into subur­ban homes.

“Aus­tralians have this won­der­ful at­ti­tude about em­brac­ing ev­ery other cul­ture and cuisines but we haven’t even looked in our own back­yard yet,” Olive says. “There’s a whole world of flavours just wait­ing to be smelt and eaten.”

Olive sug­gests ex­per­i­ment­ing with the aniseed myr­tle, na­tive to the Bellin­gen Val­ley on the NSW mid-north coast, as a licorice kick to the hum­ble An­zac bis­cuit.

“Start off with some­thing easy, like le­mon myr­tle on your fish and chips – it’s a soft le­mon flavour with­out be­ing tart like an ac­tual le­mon. Or add some wat­tle­seeds to your breads or bis­cuits,” he says.

“I like to add muntry berries to cheese­cakes, they taste like ap­ples but have a burst of cin­na­mon.”

Bush tucker may soon see a rise in pop­u­lar­ity with some now con­sid­ered su­per-foods and many small Syd­ney cafes us­ing the sweet fruits like quan­dong in ice creams and kan­ga­roo meat in place of beef.

“There are things out there on the mar­ket, but they’re not ev­ery­where; if you don’t see them on the su­per­mar­ket shelf, you for­get about them,” Olive says.

“Na­tive in­gre­di­ents have a lot of po­ten­tial and peo­ple should get ex­cited about them.

“There are parts of Asia that ab­so­lutely love in­dige­nous fruits and herbs, so the prod­ucts are be­ing made avail­able – and they’re def­i­nitely online.”

Like any other cui­sine, Olive sug­gests get­ting to know the recipes and taste.

“Once you get started, it can make ev­ery dish a lit­tle spe­cial,” he says.

Chef Mark Olive uses plenty of na­tive herbs and spices on his dishes. Pic­ture: An­gela Wylie

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