With a common name like Pig face, it doesn't sound very appetising does it?! And it most definitely does not taste like pork. Pigface (Carpobrotus Virescens), can be spotted all along the WA coast and inland cliff dunes.
The succulent banana shaped leaves of Pigface taste similar to salted zucchini and cucumber and are delicious steamed, roasted or sautéed served alongside fish or meat dishes. It was eaten for centuries by the traditional owners of this land who have a deep spiritual connection to these foods. Later, European settlers adopted it to starve off scurvy. It is also good for easing constipation and stomach cramps due to its laxative properties.
The beautiful pink flowers first start appearing in the season of Djilba and are a perfect garnish to brighten up any dish.Following flowering comes the ever-popular fruit, squeezed out of its bulbous skin and eaten. The white pulp tastes similar to sweet but salty kiwi fruit and has a texture not dissimilar to dragonfruit. There is also a non-native Pigface dotted around Perth,introduced from South Africa, with larger succulent leaves and yellow flowers. This too is edible.
Many people wander the paths leading through the dunes to the beach not even noticing the edible plants around them. It is important to remember however, that removal of plants from protected areas and private land is strictly prohibited. All foraging requires a license and should always be done with respect for the season and the land that it is on. Also, be mindful of any possible contaminants, such as dog deposits and insecticides, as well as ensuring that the plant has been correctly identified. Popular in the RiverMint kitchen, all parts of the Pigface plant are utilised and sustainable collection practices are paramount.