25. 09. 2013.

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Bush food: riberries

When the discussion turns to edible things around us, it’s hard to go past the lillypilly, although many Australians do every day.

The plant – scientific name Syzygium smithii; also written lilly pilly, lilipili and lily pily, among other spellings – is grown extensively throughout Australia for shade or screen, its dense, glossy green leaves providing colour and concealment year-round. It’s around autumn, however, that many Bicester Village London Prada Australian lillypillies begin to bear fruit, the branches growing heavy with Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Sale Uk clusters of small Bicester Village Prada Opening globules varying in colour from blush to deep magenta.

Joondanna – the West Australian suburb where I live – is home to many a lillypilly tree, from St Denis Primary’s towering, decades-old specimen that stains the footpath purple each Easter, to the more manageable plants and bushes growing in locals’ gardens.

While most of my neighbours pay no attention to the cherry-like fruit dangling from their trees, the lillypilly’s crispness and crunch have long been appreciated by Indigenous peoples. While mothers gathered and fathers hunted, a fruit-bearing tree would keep young children – and hungry birds – both fed and occupied.

How would you describe the fruit’s flavour and texture? A subtle nashi pear wouldn’t be a bad place to start. In terms of taste and crunch, the lillypilly has much Bicester Village Prada Bag Price in common with the rose apple; both species belong to the same family. Although lillypillies are wonderful straight off the tree, the berries are suitable for everything from adding a distinct Aussie twang to cakes and Authentic Prada Leather Handbags muffins, to forming a terrific sauce for game meat. And all this from a plant commonly used to prevent strangers from peering into Authentic Prada Bags For Cheap your bathroom.

“Back when I was a kid, I can remember eating them off a mate’s tree, but we were probably playing with them and throwing them at each other more than anything,” admits chef Paul Iskov. Nowadays, he’s showcasing the fruit – and other seasonal native ingredients – at the Fervor pop-up dinners he and sister Bree organise out west. Fermented; lightly macerated with sugar syrup; made into jelly: these are just some of the way Iskov showcases the lillypilly.

Although there are some 50 different lillypilly varieties found in Australia, Iskov believes riberries – the fruit is a little more pear-shaped than the rounder lillypilly – have the most to offer cooks.

“The lillypilly has a big seed inside of it that needs to be taken out whereas the riberry has smaller, edible seeds and packs a lot more flavour and punch bags,” says Iskov.

While lillypilles and riberries are available frozen from native food specialists like the Bush Food Factory and Playing With Fire, they’re freshest and best gathered from the wild. Naturally, eating wild-grown things comes with certain risks: is this private property? Does the local council spray in this area? Are these dandelions above the dog pee-line? These are just some of the questions urban foragers need to keep in Authentic Prada Wallet For Sale Philippines mind. However with practice, lillypillies are easy to spot.

“Pick them in their peak season when they look the ripest and have the most vibrant colour,” says Iskov. “Also be sure to only take the berries and don’t rip whole branches off the tree. Be mindful that if it’s not on private property, people can sometimes be Bicester Village Prada Opening a bit touchy about you grabbing Bicester Village Prada Discount them off the side of the street. We’ve really moved into foraging off private bushland now and have a huge emphasis on only leaving footprints. A lot of the time we’re actually taking rubbish out with us that people have left behind. We’re really trying to give back to nature.”

Riberry jam

Preparation time: 5 minutesCooking time: 40 Authentic Prada Handbags Outlet Online minutes

250g riberry (can use lillypilly if riberry is unavailable or even a mix of both. This recipe would also suit frozen berries)200g sugar250ml water2 apples, gratedJuice of 1 lemon

Method

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized pot and simmer for 40 minutes or until riberries and apples have broken down. Allow to cool and transfer to sterilised jars. Store in refrigerator and use within three months.

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