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Native Grocery List

By saltwater.native - 3 October 2007 20

Hey all,

Just want to get this out there to see what people know. I’m after a nice variety of native plants for a cooking project i’ve got in the works and wondered if any stores in the Canberra region sells this stuff. Looking for fresh stuff too, if possible.

Hope someone can give me a hand here

Thanks,

Mako

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Native Grocery List
eataust 9:23 am 05 Oct 07

Warrigal greens (spelling does vary) are an excellent spinach-like green; they were actually hugely popular with the English up to the early 1900s, grown as “summer spinach” (“English” spinach is best in the cool winter months). Apparently it’s still big in France, where it’s called “tetragon” (after its botanical name, Tetragon tetragonides – er, I think).

It can be relatively easily sourced as seedlings or seeds; once planted, it grows like buggery and is practically unkillable. It might die back in frost – my plants are yet to go through an unprotected frosty winter so I don’t know how extensively they might get damaged – but it definitely regenerates afterwards.

The only catch with tetragon is that it requires blanching before use, because of high oxalite levels in the leaves. If you eat the mature leaves raw, you do get a sort of funny feeling in the throat. Plunging them in boiling water for about a minute removes that, and leaves the leaves still green and lush and tasty.

Back to the resources … there’s a list on the CSIRO Native Foods site. Tanamera is one name I hear a lot in conjunction with possible suppliers of fresh foods; they’re based in SA. I haven’t found a website for them but contact details are on the link above.

As for the rather contentious issue of “who ‘owns’ knowledge about Australian native foods” … well, that’s a whole ‘nother article. Certainly we need to acknowledge that without the knowledge of the original settlers of the continent, we wouldn’t know the food properties of many of the flora around us – particularly those that are toxic unless prepared properly.

On the other hand, does the fact I eat a lot of Asian, Italian, and Moroccan food at home mean that the Asians, Italians and Moroccans in the Australian community have more “ownership” over the dishes I create than I do? And if I sell products based around the flora of Australia, do I require a heritage of x000 years on this land (rather than on land somewhere overseas) in order to do so?

I tend to work on the “intellectual property attribution theory” (I’m a librarian; it comes naturally) – I cheerfully and wholly acknowledge the debt of knowledge and information to those peoples of the cultural background of the food I’m preparing and recipes I’m using. But if I sell basil (a mediterranean herb) at the markets, am I breaching an Italian’s “ownership” of that herb because my cultural background happens to be Scottish and Anglo-Saxon? Does that mean I’m limited to selling thyme (actually, that’s Welsh), thistles, oats, and venison?

I don’t think so, but I’ll happily have a debate about it 🙂

diprotodon 6:26 am 05 Oct 07

I suspect that Mako is after mountain pepper, warragul greens and the like. My advice is google the seed vendors, and grow them in your backyard. Warragul green pesto made with macadamias and macadamia oil is fantastic!

saltwater.native 5:49 pm 04 Oct 07

In order to avoid the possibility of pointless, childish flaming… I’d like to correct my mistake in spelling.

* As an Indigenous Australian male *

saltwater.native 5:47 pm 04 Oct 07

As an Indegnous Australian male currently studying in the education field, I’m highly offended by your ignorance and blatant support of negative stereotyping of Indigenous people.

Maelinar 4:22 pm 04 Oct 07

No, over 100 years and over 3 generations has dulled any representation of ‘traditional’. It’s time to get off welfare and get with the rest of Australia.

Thumper 3:45 pm 04 Oct 07

You do mean ‘traditional owners’ do you not?

Maelinar 3:18 pm 04 Oct 07

Belconnen or Fyshwick markets for fresh produce.

Respect who the current owners are, and represent that in your study.

eataust 2:56 pm 04 Oct 07

After my comments at The Canberra Cook, I checked a thread on the topic also running at bushfood.net, and was reminded of The Poacher’s Pantry and their excellent use of native produce in their own produce, and also available in their shop.

Fresh produce is, however, still and always a problem. We are not yet at the day when we can walk into the greengrocer and buy a kilo of midyimberries, or a couple of bunches of tetragon, or a bouquet of fresh herbs with rivermint, lemon myrtle, and native pepper …

Joe Canberran 10:48 am 04 Oct 07

From over on the Canberra Cook

Mako asked about sourcing native Australian ingredients. I wish I had a really good supplier, but no. It’s all here and there, and erratic. Spices are getting much easier these days – even Woolworths & Coles now have some. So does Oxfam, and there is a man at the Saturday morning EPIC markets who sells a wider variety of bush spices, including aniseed myrtle and native mint. The Essential Ingredient in Kingston sometimes stocks frozen produce. I’ve seen bunya nuts and riberries, as well as some of the Vic Cherikoff range. The dried quandongs mentioned in an earlier post came from the Port Douglas market, so that’s not too easy to repeat. Ironbark cafe in Manuka might be good people to ask; they often have native fruit desserts. And then there’s mail order from Vic Cherikoff. If anybody else has good sources, please add a comment – I’d love to hear about it.

There is some additional info in one of the comments as well.

asp 1:12 am 04 Oct 07

The Game shop at Fyshwick markets has the best duck and chicken around. But they also have a very comprehensive range of kangeroo, croc and emu meat, sausages and other products.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:31 pm 03 Oct 07

The kitchen place at the Belconnen Markets stocks a pretty good range of native herbs and spices. Otherwise, go visit Ironbark Cafe in Manuka and ask about their sources (or they might even sell you ingredients over the counter).

green_frogs_go_pop 8:43 pm 03 Oct 07

i think you can get roo, croc, emu, .etc at some place in belco markets..

Ingeegoodbee 7:30 pm 03 Oct 07

on the meat side you used to be able to get roo, croc and emu at the Fyshwick markets but that was a couple of years ago. For plant foods, you might try talking with one of the local Aboriginal community organisations – cant recommend bogong moths though – unless you like the taste of stale maccadamia nuts with the consistency of mashed avocado.

Ari 6:17 pm 03 Oct 07

But Kramer, it’s free on the roadsides.

Early morning Monaro Hwy is best.

Kramer 5:16 pm 03 Oct 07

I don’t know about this plant stuff, but you can get good Kangaroo meat at Woolies & Coles.

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