The great aussie outback. Bush tucker, or bush food, lays in abundance as the campfire in front of you crackles under the swaying eucalypt. You chuck on a damper as you sing Patterson’s poems in front of your mates in the bush. Your horses, standing close, as the echoes of creaking trees are send through the bushland. So what is Wattleseed?
It’s not the 18th century anymore. With advances in technology and better understanding of Australian biodiversity, there has never been a better time to start exploring alternative food sources. Sustainability is a key factor in driving this growing industry – and this isn’t the only benefactor. Traditional knowledge is passing from indigenous communities helping us better understand medicinal properties of plants, and there incredible flavours that come with them. Thus benefitting indigenous communities, and the planet alike.
The GLORIUS Wattleseed. Known for its pleasantly nutty flavour, this Australian beauty is sourced primarily from Acacia Victoria (Don’t know it? Yeah, don’t go foraging please!). Workers collect the seeds en masse through a combination of manual labour and machinery which are then roasted and ground to produce a deliciously compact spice that can build flavour portfolio with only a teaspoon. Think of mixing hazelnut, and chocolate – this is what Wattleseed is.
WHAT IS WATTLESEED?
A great question my friend! As we started before, it’s mainly harvested from Acacia Victorae, a type of Wattle. Each seed is painfully collected and after roasting, is placed in a mill to make a coarse powder. This unlocks the powerful flavour allowing for a simple application to warm beverages, or baked goods.
What is also great with Wattleseed is it’s nutritional content. Containing over 20% protein, this classical Australian native is also high in potassium, calcium, iron and what we all need – zinc. It’s so nutritious in fact, that it has been grown across dry famine-prone areas of Africa to aid in malnutrition and feeding a growing population. It’s become so successful in these regions that it has also become a pest.
Most importantly, it was used as an invaluable food source for indigenous communities throughout time. Due to its hardiness, it was useful for its high protein content, and carbohydrates. Indigenous women would traditionally grind the seeds creating a flour to be used for damper.
How do I use it?
By now, you’ve at least learned about the incredibly flavour portfolio of this gourmet native ingredient. We’re going to explore the culinary aspects and ways we can use Wattleseed.
AND EVERYTHING ELSE
Firstly, A simple baked recipe is all you need to impress your guests. Wattleseed is amazingly dynamic, and can be added to literally anything to create a dynamically nutty flavour. Check out this French Financier (French Cupcake) recipe that uses the simplicity of vanilla and ups the game ten-fold.
Alternatively, a simple icecream to keep cool will not only help you but it will literally blow your mind. Consider this – nut free icescream that screams hazelnut, mixed with the creamy texture of milky vanilla icecream with just that touch of sweetness that you love. It’s a match undoubtedly made in heaven.
Due to its coffee-like roasting, and milling, it’s unsurprising that Wattle tastes incredibly in hot beverages. Whether in hot chocolate, a cappuccino, or an ice coffee, it adds just that extra flavour dimension. What’s best, is that you only need a couple of teaspoons and you’ll have a gourmet drink for much less that gourmet coffee beans.
These three ideas are incredible if you’re wanting to explore native ingredients. After all, many commercially produced spices are coated in excessive chemicals and if the idea of child labour isn’t exciting for you, then you definitely shouldn’t support it.
Wattleseed is being used by so many Cafes, and Restaurants, yet it isn’t readily accessible. It’s generally expensive, and not the most well known product. You can choose hazelnuts instead but then you need a lot and they cost must more. If you’re unsure on how to cook with it, you could try having a spiced Wattleseed chai that incorporates other Australian natives, or even having it in Wattleseed and Macadamia chocolate? The options are endless.