Aboriginal means Indigenous to Australia. They were the original inhabiters of Australia before the island was discovered and occupied by the British and other Europeans. They lived off the land which means they only ate foods that were available to them such as nuts, seeds and plants. They also ate meats such as crocodile and kangaroo as well as lots of fish.
This food is known as Bush Tucker and it refers to the ancient foods eaten by the Aboriginals. Some of these traditions are still held by Aboriginal tribes.
Gourmet jams and chutneys are the best way to see some of these ancient ingredients. Clearly this is not how the Aboriginals would consume these products but it has brought them to a broader audience. You may also see signs in traditional restaurants with BUSH TUCKER on the menu. This generally refers to meats such as Emu, Kangaroo and Crocodile.
The Reality TV programme, andquot;I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!andquot; is filmed in Australia and has shown contestants having to eat live bugs. The aboriginals did indeed eat bugs and they are a delicacy. The idea is to squeeze their insides into your mouth. You do this a bit like how you would eat an oyster. You’ll struggle to find this on many menus. Clearly for most, the idea is too off putting.
Key Bush Tucker Ingredients
There are thousands of traditional ingredients that are known as Bush Tucker but here are a few of the key ones:Finger Lime This is a zesty fruit with a lovely flavour. You will find it in many gourmet Australian Marmalades.
Warrigal Greens are a little like Spinach. Did you know that the seeds from these plants were shipped back to Britain with Captain Cook to help prevent scurvy
Lemon Myrtle A very popular Aboriginal ingredient due to its healing abilities as well as the fact that it is tasty so can be used in cooking. It is high in Citral which is a good ingredient to keep away mosquitoes.
Macadamia Nuts A nut synonymous with Australia. These days you will find it in every souvenir shop, usually coated in chocolate.
If you want to experience Bush Tucker as part of your trip to Australia, there are plenty of interesting places. Firstly there are restaurants, usually in the outback where you can try Australian meat. Secondly there are local farm shops where you can try ingredients through pickles and jams. But probably the best experience is to take part in an Aboriginal bush tucker tour. These generally involve a local, guiding you through the bush and the various ingredients. At the end of the tour, there is usually a tasting. For more information on Bush Tucker, visit the Real Australia Travel Website.