The native spices of Australia are unique, the flavours are distinctive and complement each other and the dish alike. The spices are used in both sweet and savoury cooking and give exotic flavours.
The Aboriginal people have used these spices for a long time in Australia Cooking for making every day dishes. The native spices also have a number health benefits and can be used for treating minor ailments like common cold and stomach ailment. The spices are generally collected from the wild, which means they are hard to source in commercial quantities, making them highly prized here in Australia and increasingly around the world. Some of the better known native spices and their uses have been listed below.
Lemon myrtle is enriched with a fresh, lemon-lime flavour and is a versatile herb. It can be used in the ground and dried form or fresh. It can be added to sauces, marinades, cakes, and sorbets.
It grows to around 5m and can be seen growing in Victoria, Tasmania and South Eastern New South Wales. It has a characteristic hot taste due to the presence of a compound called polygodial.
Although there are 700 species of wattle in Australia out of which only a few are edible. They have been used for thousands of years as a staple source of food by the Aboriginal people. These days, however, they are used as a ground and roasted spice.
A common ornamental plant, this shrub has edible mauve coloured flowers of which the leaves are also becoming popular in Australia cooking. Native mint grows in the North Eastern New South Wales Australia.
Macadamia Nut Oil
This oil comes from the native Australian macadamia nut, which is found in the Northern New South Wales and the coastal region of Southern Queensland. This oil has high amounts of mono-saturates and therefore is a healthy alternative to olive oil.
A distant relative of potato, this plant is a perennial in nature. The fruit is left to dry on the bushes before it is picked. The Aboriginal tribes gathered these dried fruits for thousands of years and were used as staple food. In the modern times, it is used as a spice and gives an amazing flavour to the Australian cooking.
These fruits have a pink blush, refreshing and versatile texture. You can eat them fresh or serve them in the form of fruit salad.
We hope we have given you incentive to explore the delightful native spices of Australia in yournext dish.