Discover our bush tucker
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