I have been hearing the term ‘bush tucker’ since I was a little girl. But, to be honest the only ‘bush tucker’ I can confidently say that I knew back then was the Witchetty Grub and I can tell you now there was no way I was going to even look at a Witchetty Grub, let alone eat one.
Fast forward, I don’t know, lots of years, maybe even a couple of decades and growing in my own garden are a number of bushfood plants, lovingly planted and cared for by myself and my husband. I usually refer to them as bushfood, but you should use which ever term you like to describe the wonder that is the edible Australian landscape.
Those of you in the Sydney region will be starting to see and smell the golden flecks of wattle gracing our neighbourhoods. Don’t you just love the scent of the wattle floating on the cool winter breeze, I do.
I thought it might take a little more time but our wattle (Acacia sophorae) is in full bloom too. In ‘Winter Blooms’ I shared with you my surprise to see so many plants flowering in my garden. The vibrant yellow wattle is no exception as the little lime green balls on the flower spike burst open with all of its glorious stamens.
After the flowers come the fruit and in the fruit you find the seeds. While the flowers look and smell delicious it is the seeds that I am really waiting for. Not all Wattle seeds are edible but this one is and the flavour that the seeds add to our breakfast muesli is wonderful.
I finally got around to opening the wattle seed pods that I harvested at the begining of our previous Summer. They had completely dried, some had opened and some of the seeds had fallen out into the bowl (which saves me from picking them out of the pod).
They are fiddley little things and the amount of pods plus the time it took to harvest has left me with little more than a couple of tablespoons worth of seeds. But it doesn’t matter, it is all about the adventure of growing, harvesting and turning our produce into an edible product that we can enjoy.
Once I have all of the seeds out of the pod I dry roast them, this brings out all of the nutty, coffee, chocolaty tasting goodness.
I’ll then grind them in a pestle and mortar and store them ready for homemade breakfast muesli and baking.
I can’t begin to describe the gorgeous scent the ground wattle seeds eminate out into my kitchen, like I said it is nutty and chocolatey with a little coffee but it is so much more than that. The scent makes my heart melt, it is warm, inviting and smells like a country kitchen with a difference.
Try some roasted Wattle seeds for yourself. You can purchase roasted ground Wattle seeds from online bushfood stores, specialty shops and I have often seen them in Botanic Gardens shops. So next time you are visiting an Australian Botanic Garden don’t forget to ask at the shop for your packet of roasted wattle seeds and find yourself deliciously hooked like I am.
Until next time