Small white scale insects on a gum leaf

Tree scale, it’s just like cornflakes

Insects may have only recently made their way into convenience foods, but they’ve been part of traditional meals in Central Australia for tens of thousands of years. And some insects taste good, even sweet. River red gum tree scale was my insect food of choice on a recent trip to Central Australia. It’s sweet, and…

A mandarin on a tree

Picking mandarins at Wisemans Ferry

Picking your own fruit is one of life’s great pleasures, but up until now I didn’t know you could do it in winter. I thought the season ended in April when the frost starts and the last apples at Bilpin are picked. Happily you can pick fruit later in the year because winter is citrus…

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Fruit picking at Bilpin – apples and plums

Crisp, sweet baby apples are one of autumn’s greatest pleasures. And they’re even fresher if you pick them yourself. We’ve picked apples in Bilpin before, at Bilpin Springs Orchard. This time we tried Pine Crest Orchard across the road. Both orchards are frequented by families and the occasional tourist bus. The competition between them doesn’t…

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Boab Nuts

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…

Löwenzahnsalat

Dandelion Salad

Walking along the bike track on the Pleiße river one afternoon I spotted a family getting off their bikes, and heading into the knee-deep grass to search for something. No, it wasn’t the dog’s ball, and this time it wasn’t mushrooms either. They were collecting wild greens. Flicking through my book on wild foods in…

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Mushroom Collecting

In Germany every season seems to have its own wild foods, from bärlauch (ramsons) in Spring, to mushrooms in Autumn. Restaurants change their menus with the seasons from asparagus and bärlauch, to strawberries, to pfifferlinge and steinpilze (chanterelles and porcini). The most amazing thing though, is that ordinary people have no fear of deadly toadstools,…