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April 23, 2014
Australia is comprised of approximately 3 million square miles. Of that, approximately 90% is uninhabited. So, if you don't live in a place like Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Humpybong, Yackandandah or any other place that has a restaurant or a grocery store, how on earth are you going to get some good tucker?
Have no fear, because I have some dinner ideas for you. Before I get to the menu, it's worth pointing out that the Australia many people have come to know is but a blink in her anthropological history. If you compress the 50,000 years Australia has been home to humans into one year, you wouldn't see shrimp on a barbie until late morning, December 30th. Prior to that, all sustenance came from Mother Earth. And there's no group of people more qualified in that realm than Australia's indigenous people. Some of what you're about to read may not sound palatable to you, but culinary taste is relative. While you may reel at the idea of roasted dingo, it's likely an Australian tribesman in the late Pleistocene wouldn't touch a footlong with a ten-foot pole. Keeping that in mind, here are just a few ancient down under dishes and their methods of preparation for your consumption:
Place carcass on fire, singe off hair, remove from fire and then properly eviscerate. Replace onto fire and roast until done.
Boiled shellfish - oysters, chitons, mud mussels
Place in coals of fire until the contents start to froth. Remove from fire and enjoy.
Seared witchetty grub (moth larva)
Place on hot coals and turn over regularly for two to three minutes. Once done, hold the head and consume the body. Alternatively, can be eaten raw.
Peel and eviscerate. Rotate in coals until fully cooked. Serves many. Tastes like chicken.
For browsing or snacking - no preparation required
Beech nuts, bunya nuts, palm seeds, cashews, wild oranges, quandongs (native peaches), desert figs, bush tomatoes, brush cherries, currents, elderberries.
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