The wildflowers are here at last. A sign of Spring and the Noongar season of Kambarang, we here in Western Australia are blessed to witness this season of birth with an array of colours and scents emanating from wildflowers growing in gardens, fields and along walkways. People from all over the world visit W.A just to see this spectacle and to enjoy the mild climate of Perth and its surrounds.
Most importantly, many come to try the best food that this region of Australia has to offer. There is no better time on the Noongar calendar to enjoy freshwater shellfish and water fowl than during Kambarang. The south west Australian native, Marron, is in abundance throughout Kambarang and Birak. Its sweet, delicate flesh pairing perfectly with an emulsion dip made with native lemongrass and desert limes. Fresh water crayfish, like Gilgies and yabbies, are also a treat.
And of course, as the rain recedes and the Christmas tree (Moodja) start to blossom, there is also an abundance of native game, much of which was traditionally hunted and is now protected. Game birds and their eggs, including squab, pigeon, water fowl and cockatoo as well as kangaroo, frogs and turtles were all eaten as the Noongar people moved from inland wetland areas back towards the coast. We will feature a blog post and recipe soon about the very special Magpie goose....... something different to try as we approach Christmas perhaps? This is also the perfect season for what many aboriginal communities consider to be a delicacy - Bardi grubs. They have a delicate almond taste when roasted and are a big favourite with bush food fanatics who know where to find them.
Many of the different native wildflowers and fruits are used in the RiverMint kitchen during Kambarang. On the menu are pickled and candied Quandongs, Jarrah flower honey, Moodja flower syrup, Peppermint gum (Wonil) infused olive oil, Wattleseed bread, Boab ice cream and aniseed myrtle roasted yams and tubers. It is an exciting time for experimenting in the kitchen. So get your hands of some of the best ingredients the Noongar season of Kambarang has to offer and start cooking!