I’ve always loved native Australian plants, and recently – after reading Bush Tukka Guide by Samantha Martin – I was inspired to try cooking with them. I found a recipe online, Bush Tucker Muffins with wattle seeds and lemon myrtle, which looked good. I added these ingredients to my list the next time I went grocery shopping, but after scouring every supermarket, fruit market, health food shop and specialty shop in my closest shopping areas, the native Australian ingredients couldn’t be found. At least, if they were there they were hiding pretty well! From aniseed to za’atar, all manner of exotic and international herbs, spices and condiments were available – which is great in itself – but not the local ones I was after, which just seems wrong.
Are they not available because of a lack of interest? Is this due to a lack of knowledge of how to use them? Or a lack of awareness of their existence? And if the suppliers did more to make our native ingredients readily available would we be more familiar with them and use them more often?
I’m on a mission to get to know our native ingredients and start using them more regularly. And ultimately I hope that they will become easier to buy, and for wattle seeds, lemon myrtle and bush pepper to be as common in Aussie kitchens as cumin, coriander and paprika. This blog will document my explorations, recipes, and resources such as where to source products. Sign up for a weekly update and share the journey!