Going native

Australia’s edible native plant foods have been a part of our national landscape and Aboriginal diet for thousands of years.

Today’s native food industry in South Australia consists of a committed group of growers, producers and scientists who are extremely passionate about what they do.

Many of them have been the pioneers of this industry – and it’s easy to share their excitement as more people embrace the unique sensory journey of our native herbs, spices, fruits, nuts and seeds.

The benefits are plentiful. Native fruits such as quandongs and desert limes are high in Vitamin C, while saltbush is being used by innovative South Australian lamb producers as feed, giving their meat a unique flavour and marketing edge. Discover a new world of flavours to thrill your tastebuds and enhance your menu.

BUSH PEPPER

BUSH PEPPER

  • Leaves (dried and milled into a fine powder) and fruit (dried or ground).
  • Harvest: All year.
  • Flavour: Peppery flavour, the fruit has a hotter taste profile than leaves.
  • Use: As a replacement to common pepper.
MUNTRIE

MUNTRIE

  • Fresh or dried fruit.
  • Harvest: February to April.
  • Flavour: Varies from dry apple to more cinnamon and blackcurrant flavours.
  • Use: In chutneys, desserts, jams, baked in muffins and breads, salads and sauces.
SAMPHIRE

SAMPHIRE

  • Small, fleshy leaves and stems.
  • Harvest: December to February when leaves bright green, aromatic.
  • Flavour: Strong, salty taste.
  • Use: Sauté, stirfry, steam, pickle and eat fresh. Reduce salty taste by blanching for 30-45 secs or soak shoots in cold water for 1-2 hrs.
BUSH TOMATO

BUSH TOMATO

  • Fresh or dried fruit.
  • Harvest: April.
  • Flavour: Dried fruit has a strong sun dried tomato, caramel and tamarillo flavour and aroma.
  • Use: With cheese, eggs, salmon, tomato, strong flavoured white or game meats.
DESERT LIME

DESERT LIME

  • Small fruit with no peel/rind.
  • Harvest: January to February.
  • Flavour: Similar to standard limes but more intense and piquant.
  • Use: Extremely versatile, replaces standard limes.
LEMON MYRTLE

LEMON MYRTLE

  • Fresh or ground leaves.
  • Harvest: All year.
  • Flavour: Strong fresh fragrance of creamy lemon and lime.
  • Use: With fish, chicken, in ice cream and sorbet.
QUANDONG (BUSH PEACH)

QUANDONG (BUSH PEACH)

  • Fresh or dried fruit.
  • Harvest: September to October.
  • Flavour: Tart.
  • Use: In pies, tarts, jams, sauces, chutneys, glazes for roasting meat.
RIVER MINT

RIVER MINT

  • Fresh or dried leaves.
  • Harvest: All year.
  • Flavour: Strong scented herb similar to spearmint.
  • Use: Replaces any exotic common mints, in cool drinks, salads and sauces for meat dishes.
SALTBUSH

SALTBUSH

  • Leaf, seeds, dried flakes.
  • Harvest: All year.
  • Flavour: Salty spinach flavour.
  • Use: Wrap leaves (fresh or blanched) around meat or fish, add dried flakes to breads, grills and pasta.
  • SANDALWOOD

    SANDALWOOD

    • Nut kernel.
    • Harvest: September to October.
    • Flavour: Similar to macadamia but with a more subtle, nutty flavour.
    • Use: In similar fashion to macadamias and other nuts, and with native herbs and fruits.
    WARRIGAL GREENS (SPINACH)

    WARRIGAL GREENS (SPINACH)

    • Fleshy, slightly textured leaf.
    • Harvest: All year. Grows wild along sandy coasts.
    • Flavour: Similar to traditional spinach and silverbeet, lemony.
    • Use: Sauté, stirfry, steam or blanch. Must be blanched before eating by steaming or boiling for 1-2 mins.
    WATTLESEED

    WATTLESEED

    • Seeds, roasted then crushed.
    • Harvest: January to February.
    • Flavour: Coffee, chocolate, hazelnut.
    • Use: In baking, to thicken sauces and casseroles, to flavour ice cream, or to replace coffee.

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