Boab nuts grow in the top end, and you can eat them. I’m just not sure that you’d want to. They taste, as my travelling companion put it, “like lemony talcom powder”.
In the dry season, when the bottle-shaped boab trees have lost their leaves, the nuts remain hanging. If you break them open they are full of a powdery flesh, surrounding large seeds. It’s the powdery part that’s edible, and it’s meant to be a very good source of vitamin C. Since the powdery texture was offputting, we tried stirring the boab nut powder into milk, but sadly it didn’t dissolve.
If you can’t bring yourself to eat boabs, they do make good art supplies. Carved boab nuts made by local aboriginal artists are popular souvenirs in the top end.
Boabs are beautiful trees, but perhaps Crocodile Dundee was right about bush tucker when he said, “You can eat it, but…”.