Monday, January 14, 2008

Hungry for heritage

Going to Thailand without gorging on the country’s cuisine would be like going to India and not seeing the Taj Mahal; that is, it would be stupid. You’ve been hanging around your hometown for who-knows-how-long, but have you ever really tried the local food?

No, no: not Hungry Jacks! Not even the great fish and chips from the takeaway up the street. We’re talking about seriously local food, the food the locals used to eat back before everyone started eating all the same stuff. You know—paperbark-wrapped turtle steamed in a ground oven, goanna cooked in the coals of an open fire, or dry-roasted bogong moths. Aboriginal people had limited access to brie and spring rolls, so they had to work with whatever walked through or grew in their surrounding region. You might be surprised at what passed for ingredients before Coles hit town.

You can find some bush tucker recipes on the internet, though you might have to do some face-to-face research to find recipes for your own locality. Once you’ve tried out a few dishes, invite your friends around for a dinner party. If you need to fill out the menu a bit, have a look into what the first European settlers in your area ate too. And don’t forget, a dinner party is the ideal forum for boring people with the slideshow you made in ‘more photos than you’ve had hot dinners’.

(Thanks to Wombalano for the photo.)

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