Known also as the Plum Pine and botanically as Podcarpus Elatus, the grape-like burgundy coloured fruit of the Illawarra Plum is a popular choice for bush tucker enthusiasts.

Native to the semi-tropical coastlines of Queensland and New South Wales, these fruit actually grow on the blue-black stalk that is connected to the dark seed cones of this large evergreen tree.

It is said that Illawarra Plums contain seven times the antioxidant levels of blueberries and are known to calm stomach cramps and encourage a healthy gastro-intestinal tract. What better reason to feast on these little gems? Though they are available frozen year round, the freezing process, we have found, tends to extract some of the subtle piney flavour of the plum. Consuming Illawarra Plums when they are in fruiting season over Autumn and Winter is therefore highly recommended.

There are many ways to use Illawarra Plums in cooking. They can be incorporated into fruit salads, smoothies and also used to make a gorgeous jam. We often poached them in a port reduction to accompany Emu fillet and turn them into a jelly to be rolled in chocolate as an after dinner petit four. They are fabulous lightly roasted with a touch of brown sugar also and served as a garnish to a chocolate dessert. Try them today!