A key part of our Aboriginal cultural experiences involves learning about the relationship between Aboriginal people and the land. This includes fully immersing yourself in the culture to gain a deep understanding and appreciation of the Aboriginal way of life. Bush food plays a significant part in these experiences, so we thought we would share 6 bush foods that you may try on our Aboriginal cultural experiences!
Honey ants are one of the most popular bush foods eaten across Central Australia and the Northern Territory. Once gathered from deep under the ground, you can eat the ant by holding its body and popping its belly filled with honey-like syrup straight into your mouth! Learn how to collect these ants using wooden sticks in The Pilbara and enjoy the sweetness straight away or include the syrup in a dessert!
While kangaroo is an increasingly common food across Australia, eating it in the Outback is a truly meaningful and unique experience! In the East Kimberley region, Aboriginal elders will welcome you onto their country through a traditional smoke ceremony before teaching you how to cook kangaroo in hot coals under the ground (called a Warlayi). As your meal cooks, learn about ways that the local people use every part of the animal including the fur and tail!
As a popular bush food, lemon myrtle has been used for thousands of years as a herb and as medicine. When used in cooking, lemon myrtle is used in fish dishes wrapped in paperbark- another key natural resource in Aboriginal culture. When used as medicine, lemon myrtle is has antiseptic, sedative, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
These large, white grubs are one of the most important sources of protein as an insect food in the Outback! Whitchetty grubs have always been a staple in the Aboriginal diet, tasting like a combination of chicken, fried eggs and almonds. While they aren’t something to be eaten every day, they are so cool to try on our Aboriginal cultural experiences and always make a cool story to share when you’re back home.
When meat was in short supply, quandongs were considered a suitable substitute in Aboriginal culture. The fruit can be eaten raw or dried for later use and plays an important role in women’s business. Traditionally, women would collect quandongs and then the fruit would be separated from the stone to create an edible fruit ball.
Across Australia, boab trees are only found naturally in the Kimberley region, making them a unique part of your cultural immersion experience. While the tree certainly doesn’t look like it contains edible parts, boabs have nuts that contain an edible white pith. Stock up on antioxidants and vitamin C, as you collect some nuts from the roadside on your journey through the East Kimberley region or the Northern Territory!
Keen to try out some or all of these bush foods? Get more information about our Aboriginal Immersion Experiences here!