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The lure of the unknown

I think it started with black rice. I was remembering fondly the one packet I bought back in Toronto, and started looking for UK providers. At some point, possibly by means of cookbook-reading, I was distracted into looking for UK sources of akudjura, aka Australian bush tomato powder. I have not found it.

Unlike black rice, I have never tried akudjura, so I can hardly need it in the same way I covet the rice; but the descriptions of it intrigued me, which is how I find myself with 20+ tabs on Australian spices and fruits open just now. I now know that yakajirri is an akudjura-based blend, and quandongs are not obviously available in the UK either. Quandongs look particularly useful, as they can come in blue, a relatively rare food color. I am sure I don't need rosella confit, pepperberry, or wattleseed, but they do sound intriguing.

The Telegraph speculated in 2002 that Australian food in the UK might be the Next Big Thing, but if it was, I missed it by not yet living here. The article's suggested retailer only appears to sell meat these days.

At least black rice is vaguely easy to buy around here, now that I know where to look.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
gillpolack
Dec. 28th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Buying jams with these things in is just a matter of going to the local supermarket. Bush tucker dried for one's own cookingk, however, is expensive even here, but I can keep my eyes open and if I am in the right place for any before I come to the UK I can bring it with me. Native pepperberry is the easiest, along with wattleseed and they're both entirely lovely and not quite like anything you get in Europe or North America. I use bush tomato and pepperberry and lemon myrtle regularly, quandong not at all(because I don't want to bankrupt myself) and others on occasion. There must be about 30 different bush herbs and spices around now. Here's one of the few that sells in bulk (ie not bankrupty) http://www.outbackchef.com.au/shopping/bush-food/4/1 and here's my favourite local spice shop, which sells online (not a vast range, but gorgeous quality and really nice people): http://www.herbies.com.au/
owlfish
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendations and the offer! [Unknown LJ tag] is going to bring me things back next week, which is very exciting! If I have spices to follow up on as of May or early June, I will let you know in case it is handy for you.
naxos
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:07 pm (UTC)
Sing out if you want me to bring any Aussie food back for your nefarious purposes! I'm passing through Melbourne and Sydney next week, and my uncle in particular loves interesting foods, kitchen shops, and the like.

Your post is exquisitely timed, if I may say so.
owlfish
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes please! I would happily reimburse you for any food things you bring back for me. Spices are relatively lightweight; only bring back Australian fruit preserves if you really do have the weight allowance spare!
naxos
Dec. 29th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
let's see what we can find, it'll be a fun morning out! Any particular requests? I've never bought quandongs so it'll be an adventure for me too.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )