Australian native ingredients have some incredible uses

Estimated read time 3 min read

Nornie Bero, a chef and restaurateur, knows his native foods. She shares some surprising facts about our most popular native ingredients.

Aussie Macadamias were almost not a thing.

Not all Australians know that the Macadamia originated in Australia. South Africa leads the way in producing this creamy, crunchy treat, while Australia is second.

Bero says that “the macadamia trees almost went extinct here in Australia because no one wanted it to be planted.”

“Meanwhile, it was being planted elsewhere, such as Hawaii. It was a great shame because it grows beautifully here.

In Australia, the macadamia industry did not begin to boom until the 1950s. The macadamia nut was not known to anyone outside of South East Queensland or Northern NSW, where it originated more than 60 million years ago.

Bero: “It’s great that there is an industry and that people now know this nut comes directly from us.”

Wattleseed can be used as a thickener.

This tasty seed is capable of so much more than adding chocolatey, nutty coffee flavors to your cooking. The wattleseed is roasted and then ground into flour in a mill. This flour was used to make cakes or breads.

The ground wattleseed is also a great natural thickener and binder for soups or casseroles.

Bero says, “It’s great in savory dishes.” The more you grind your wattleseed down, the more flavor it releases.

Pepperberry, the ultimate multitasker

Pepperberry is a versatile native plant that has both edible leaves and berries. Its unique flavor profiles are ideal for both sweet and savory dishes.

Bero says that pepper berries can be eaten as berries or dried out to become pepper. Because it’s more on the berry side, it has a Sichuan pepper flavor, but it doesn’t last as long.

The purple color of the pepperberry makes it an excellent natural food dye. It can be used to spice up curries, cakes, and teas.

Bero says that adding pepper berries to pickled things will give them the desired pink color. You can also grind it and add it to yogurt for a purple tint.

Native foods help reduce salt.

You’ll love these native ingredients if you like salty and savory food but want to limit your sodium intake.

Bero: “I call bush tomatoes the ‘indigenous cube.’ If you compare bush tomatoes and stock cubes, you will see that they are very similar. This is a healthy way to bring out the natural flavors of foods.

Bero calls saltbush the “indigenous oregano”.

She says, “Yes, that’s salted.” After the saltiness is gone, you get these earthy, herby flavors that are similar to oregano. It’s because you get two things for one. You can get that saltiness in your food without adding extra salt. Plus, you also get those herbs flavors.”

Aniseed Myrtle can cure the hiccups.

The soft, sweet, licorice flavor of aniseed myrtle can add a unique taste to marinades, roasts, stews, and biscuits. It also has some surprising health benefits.

Indigenous Australians have used aniseed to treat minor ailments for centuries, including menstrual cramps, stomach upsets, and hiccups. It was used to promote lactation.

Bero: “I love all myrtles, lemon myrtle and cinnamon myrtle are my favorites. But aniseed myrtle has always been my favorite.” “I believe it is underrated.”

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours