The name 'muntries' was first coined in 1840. It is one of the 400 Aboriginal words adopted by the settlers into the Australian English language from the Kaurna and Ngarrinderi languages of eastern South Australia. They’re also referred to in other Aboriginal names as Munta, Ngerp, Nurp, Nurt (Boanditj), Mantirri (Kaurna) Manter (Ngaiawang), Mantari (Ramindjeri), Mantar (Jaril).
Munterberry, Muntries, Munthries, Emu Apples, Native Cranberries are other names used to refer to Muntries.
They have been a highly valued fruit by the First Nation Communities in Victoria and South Australia. Traditional Owners collected the fruit and dried or baked into delish cakes for the winter. The fruits played a major part in the diet of the Narrindjeri people. They were also traded with other tribes in exchange for valuable tools like crude ground stone tools. They used these tools to grind, chisel and polish rough edges of ornaments. They were also used to grind plants.
Due to the abundance and availability, the fruit gained huge socio-economic importance to the Traditional Owners living in the temperate zone. Later, early settlers used Muntries to make cakes, jams and chutneys.
Muntries have since thrived and crossed seas to England in the late 1800's, they now successfully grow in the Isle of Scilly.
With kilos growing in your backyard, nothing will stop you from making chutneys, preserves, syrups, juices, beverages, sauces, muffins, fruit leathers, jellies, specialty breads, and fresh salads. Did you know the fruit can be stored at low temperature (freezer < -18ºC) for up to 24 months? Freezing for not more than 24 months actually helps retain this super fruit’s nutritional value.