Travel your tastebuds

January 27, 2004

Travel your tastebuds

New from Lonely Planet

For over thirty years, Lonely Planet has been a market leader in travel, particularly in the Australia-Asia/ Pacific region, and the number one choice for independent travellers the world over. 2004 is full of big new things for Lonely Planet, including a relaunch of their much-loved guide books. The new look guides feature more opinion, more style, more information, and more passion. Here’s a peek from Australia 12th edition

Travel your tastebuds

Some unusual foods you may spy on your travels include wild mushrooms, such as bright orange pine mushrooms, and slippery jacks, so-called because they can get quite slimy after rain. Much of the most interesting (if not always the most delicious) produce is native. There’s kangaroo, a deep, purpley-red meat, which is quite sweet. Fillets are so tender and lean they have to be served rare. The tail is often braised in the same way oxtail is cooked. In the north, you may encounter crocodile, a white meat not dissimilar to fish with a texture closer to chicken. In the outback you may be encouraged to try witchetty grubs, which look like giant maggots and taste nutty, but with a squishy texture. In the tropics you may find green ants. The way to eat them is to pick them up and bite off their lightly acidic bottoms. Sugar ant abdomens are full of sweet sap, so again just bite off the tail end.

Much of the native flora has evolved to contain unpalatable chemicals. Despite this, you may enjoy fiery bush pepper, sweetly aromatic lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, coffee-like flecks of wattle seed, vibrant purple rosella flowers, super sour davidson plums, lightly acidic bush tomato (akudjura), and, of course, the Hawaii-appropriated macadamia nut.

The wildest food of all is Vegemite, a dangerously salty yeast-extract spread with iconic status.

Most commonly used on toast, it’s also not bad on cheese sandwiches. It’s often carried overseas for homesick expats, or licked from fingers by freckle-faced youngsters. Outsiders tend to find the flavour coarse, vulgar and completely overwhelming. But what would they know?

by Matthew Evans and taken from Australia 12th edition, pg 72.


12th edition

Paul Smitz et al

ISBN 1 74059 447 9

1064 pp,72 pp colour

152 maps

A$44.90, US$28.99

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