Bush Tucker: A Taste of the Outback + a chance to WIN!

Eating a Witchetty Grub

Leading up to my trip to the Northern Territory I was worried about the types of food we might encounter. I’m what some would call a ‘picky eater’ – I don’t like seafood, green beans, peas, and a number of other foods – but it was the typical bush tucker I was more worried about.

When I think bush tucker I think of eating creepy crawlies, like the witchetty grubs or ants, or foods which are foreign to me like possum, mud crabs, or turtle eggs. Needless to say meals times during the trip were an interesting experience for me, but pleasantly interesting. But it wasn’t just me who got to try bush tucker, some of the contestants from ‘The Checklist’ got stuck into… well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Our meals were typical foods, not food which will make you cringe, and I even liked some of them! Here’s just a few of my favourite bush tastes below;

sundried bush tomateos

Bush Tomatoes

The flavour is the first thing that hits you when you bite into a bush tomato. Tasting like a sweet sun-dried tomato with a sharp after taste, bush tomatoes are around the size of raisins and grow on bushes, much like real tomatoes, in arid areas.
Rich in vitamin C and potassium bush tomatoes are very good for you but too many of them and they can act like a laxative – whoops!

beer damper

Beer Damper

As our cameleer told us the secret to making good beer damper is in the beer. First off you start with a 6-pack – that’s four for you and two for the bread!

Damper is a simple-to-make Australian bread made of self-raising flour and water – that’s it! For beer damper add a small amount of beer and bake. It’s a little thicker than normal bread, and quite a bit more doughy but still delicious


Quandong Jam

I had my first taste of quandong jam on the beer damper after our camel ride and it was so delicious I had three pieces! Native to Australia, quandongs grow on trees and considered a suitable substitute for meat by the Pitjantjara (aboriginal) people.

Nicknamed ‘the desert peach’ due to it having a huge stone and not a lot of flesh, they taste tart – in my opinion subtly like sweetened rhubarb – and are high in vitamin C.

kangaroo fillet

Kangaroo fillets

Don’t be turned off that we eat our national emblem because they are delicious and I wish I could cook the meat better. Kangaroo is a very lean meat, high in protein and low in fat, and due to its environmentally friendly approach to rearing kangaroos, ‘kangatarianism’ has become quite a big deal.

But you want to know what it tastes like don’t you? Truthfully to my palate it tastes like very tender venison though the taste is a little sharper.
When Bob Taylor cooked a bush dinner with kangaroo he BBQ’d it after letting it marinate in soy sauce, and for me that was the perfect entrée!

camel burger

Camel Burgers and mince

Let me start by saying that camels are a pest in Australia before you get shocked that I ate one; we have millions roaming around the outback which are caught and then shipped to the Middle East as they are considered a delicacy.

I had never eaten camel and I’m still unsure if I ever will again. During our Red Centre trip we encountered camel on the menu twice in both burger and minced forms. Camel tastes like beef, but due to its strong aroma and it’s tendency of being tough it wasn’t my favourite meal on the trip. I tried the camel mince served during dinner at the Kings Canyon Wilderness Lodge, which was served minced and rolled in prosciutto. But I believe they added a little too much seasoning (thyme) to it and the combination of strong meats and strong herb overpowered the meat taste to the point it tasted and smelt like I was eating a thyme bush.

I tried some bush tucker, and probably could have eaten the kangaroo and quondong jam all day, but there are plenty of other types to encounter. How about wattle seeds, crocodile, or perhaps just an ice cold Aussie beer would suit you fine.

What type of ‘bush tucker’ would you most like to try?

Your chance to WIN!

Win with ‘The Checklist’

The Northern Territory Tourism Board and Plus7 have teamed up to offer one viewer of ‘The Checklist’ the ultimate Northern Territory check-list experience.
My trip to the Red Centre was to get a taste of some of the tasks that ‘The Checklist’ participants got to experience – thankfully I didn’t have to eat barramundi eyeballs!

Be sure to watch The Checklist every week and answer the questions to be in with the chance to win the grand prize or weekly Virgin Australian flight vouchers to put towards your own Northern Territory experience.

Win with Bitten by the Travel Bug

In conjunction with my latest adventures in the Northern Territory to check some items off my own check-list we will be giving away THREE AU$200 Virgin Australia flight vouchers over the coming 12-weeks to help YOU make your own check-list experience a reality.

Virgin Australia is one of my favourite airlines to fly for its comfort and modern features onboard and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

How to enter  This competition is now over – thanks for entering!

Entering is simple, just use the Rafflecopter panel below to do as many, or as few, of the options below but don’t forget to leave a blog post comment answering the question: “What type of ‘bush tucker’ would you most like to try?” as it’s compulsory!

Some of the options can be completed every day so come back and keep coming back for more chances to win!

(Watch episode two of ‘The Checklist‘ to learn what bush tucker is and for some ideas of what not to eat!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Image credit: Petalac

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  • Reply
    Katherine | Kapcha The World
    September 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I want to try the Quandong Jam – sounds awesome.

    • Reply
      September 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      It was delicious! When you’re in Melbourne we’ll have to go Quandong jam hunting 🙂

  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I’m already a fan of kangaroo & bush tomatoes (have been for a few years since first experiencing both.)
    I’ve never eaten Camel (or Crocodile for that matter) so I’d love to give it a try.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I am a picky eater like you. When we to Thailand last month, my wife brought me to an exotic restaurant offering different dishes from crickets, turtle eggs, frogs and others. You know what I took the challenge to eat some and realized it was a nice try and fun experience.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Bird
    September 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I would have to say the Quandong Jam, the rest of them scare me a little!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Delicious choice Rebecca. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I will go for the bush tomatoes – I have seen them before on TV but never had the chance to try them. Bring it on!!

  • Reply
    SImone N
    September 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Ive tried the others but not Beer damper strangely enough was news to my ears using beer , and being a fanatic about cooking with wines. beers I would most definitely want to try the Beer Damper out!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I’d love to try Witchetty Grub, i think it would taste pretty damn good!

    • Reply
      September 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      I wish that I was as brave as you! Hope you get a chance to taste it in the Northern Territory soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    We ate camel when we stayed at Kings Creek Station, it was actually really yummy, and I’ve eaten Kanagroo before, but I think what I really want to try one day is Witchetty Grub. Might make the kids try it first though lol! 😉

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    The only bush tucker I’ve tried so far is lemon myrtle, so I’d love to try all of it! The quandong jam sounds really interesting.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I would try the kangaroo fillet!! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Damper reminds me of being on school camp so the safe option would be to go with that, although I still haven’t eaten kangaroo (poor form, I know!) so would have to choose that as the bush tucker I’d most like to try!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Working with wildlife, I get to know quite a bit of bush tucker. Most of what is safe for possum can be safe for us (but not always). I love tasting the lily pilly berries in our backyard and wax jam boos when they finally come into season but I’m not sure I’d dig up and eat a grub though!

  • Reply
    Yvette Bowyer
    September 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    OoooO I always wanted to say I’ve tried a witchery grub!!

    Freak me out though!! Be awesome to try!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    a beer damper! (anything with alcohol any day 🙂 Plus, it’s so easy to make it’s almost instant! perfect for me!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    A beer damper! anything with alcohol must be good <3 plus, it seems convenient and very easy to make. perfect for a traveler like me!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I’d love to try Bush tucker!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I would try the Kangaroo Filet

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

    kangaroo fillets – love that it’s a lean meat choice and low fat…and looks fab in the photo above!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I’d love to try the bush tomatoes. I’m not a fan of tomatoes in general, but I love sundried tomatoes and I wonder if these would taste a bit like that. 🙂

  • Reply
    September 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

    While I’d like to try camel, I’m thinking the beer damper I’ll have to have a go at. Mmm it looks darn tasty. Chuck some of that Quandomg Jam on it.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

    While I’d like to try camel, I’m thinking the beer damper I’ll have to have a go at. Mmm it looks darn tasty. Chuck some of that Quandong Jam on it.

  • Reply
    October 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    have tried it all be for… would love to try wild crocodile as farmed stuff is feed on chicken and therefor tastes like chicken

    • Reply
      October 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Mmm, damper’s alyaws a great stand-by for all sorts of occasions. Add herbs, cheese, bacon pieces all sorts of variations for a savoury to accompany a meal.And yes, it would be soooooo great to have some real, clotted Cornish cream. Brings back wonderful memories of my visits to Cornwall and Devon when our son was living in Plymouth.

  • Reply
    Audrey | That Backpacker
    October 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    The beer damper looks amaaazing, and those kangaroo steaks look quite juicy – though I’m not sure I’d want to eat kangaroo…

  • Reply
    October 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I’d prefer eating the quandong jam on th beer damper than any other exotic food. I like the taste. I think I had more than two pieces. It’s really a great option to substitute meat.

  • Reply
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