Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Bunya foraging

Sitting outside


We foraged a large Bunya nut, from the local area...and by forage, I mean, we found it for sale, at a farm gate - along with our regular pumpkins! Someone was industrious enough, to collect it from their humongous trees and sell it along with their home-grown pumpkins. Who are we to turn down, such low food miles?

The Bunya cone, was green when we first brought it home. But we waited until it turned brown, before processing - making it a tad easier. Because Bunya nuts are notoriously tough to crack!


No need for delicacy


This was actually, the easy part. David threw it down on a hard rock, and smashed it to pieces. Make sure it's a good, hard rock!


Coming apart


The segments came away from the cone, fairly easily. We probably could've processed this one, a little earlier. If you wait too long, mould can set in. A few segments had to be thrown away, because of this, but most were sound.


Many hands, make light work


It was quite a family affair, separating the nuts from the cone segments. David, Sarah and Peter, got most of the nuts out, with a little help from me. Peter was quite excited to help with the processing.


Someone loved helping!


No-one had to ask this little guy, to carry the Bunya nuts, back into the house. He eagerly took custody of the bowl, all by himself. We boiled the nuts in salted water, for about an hour. Which makes them a little easier to remove the final husk layer.


Removing the shell


We still needed the help of a nut-cracker, and pair of narrow-nose pilers, to successfully de-shell the nut - which is somewhat similar to a coconut husk!


Ready to eat


Because the nut is boiled with the husk on, initially, it has a lovely pine-needle flavour, along with what tastes like a full-bodied, roasted potato. They're really nice! Peter loved them on the first day, when freshly cooked and warm. But on successive days, the nuts became drier. Which he didn't like as much.

We were happy to find a Bunya nut score, at our local, farm gate stall. Plus we enjoyed the family activity of processing it.

Have you ever eaten Bunya nuts, before?


UPDATE: Here's a link, in case you want further suggestions on processing. Read the comments under the blog post, too, for more ideas.


18 comments:

  1. Chris, I haven't eaten the nuts before but Linda Woodrow has just written a post on using bunya nuts which you might like http://witcheskitchen.com.au/bunya-battered-fish/ She probably has the trees growing at her place in NSW.

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    1. Thanks Chel, that looks like an interesting way to eat Bunya nuts! Such a simple recipe too. :)

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  2. I have tried these nuts once, Chris, and quite liked them. Great to find one and prepare it for eating yourselves. Peter looks quite happy with all those nuts in that bowl! Meg:)

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    1. The nuts are quite tasty. Which makes the preparation, worth it. I'm not sure, people would bother with them otherwise. ;) And absolutely, Peter loves to help with anything outdoors.

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  3. We have a bowl of nuts from our produce share, but I haven't figured out how to get the shell off yet!! - Liz (eight-acres.com.au)

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    1. Hi Liz, I have a link here, to help with processing ideas. The comments at the end, are filled with useful suggestions too. Good luck with them. :)

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  4. I have never seen them here in UK, but as I have an allergy to nut's, it's not something we would look for. Interesting post.

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    1. I've always wondered if they're actually a nut or a seed - because they're more like a pine tree seed, than a nut. But I wouldn't risk it all the same, if you have allergies. :)

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  5. Have never even seen a cone let alone eaten the nuts. Would they have germinated if you'd planted them?

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    1. Absolutely, they would have germinated before we processed them. Afterwards, the kernel is cooked though.

      The trick with germination is to keep them moist, without mould growing, so the seed can break through the husk. It's reported that aborigines would store them in a netted bag, in a creek, and wait until they sprouted. Apparently it was a real delicacy. Although it's also reported, the smell increases - similar to garlic and blue vein cheese. So, I think I'll skip that particular delicacy. ;)

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  6. Thats amazing. Needless to say that I never heard of it. lol. Peter is looking so grown up! Alot like his dad, no?

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    1. Oh yes, a lot like his dad. But also, a lot like me. I've always been grateful, both our kids inherited a good mixture of our genes, so they don't look like either of our twins, lol. ;) But my little guy, is growing up, that's for sure!

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  7. I think they taste like sweet potato when boiled. That's how we eat them here. I was hoping that they might be a great way of getting pine nuts cheaply for pesto. I dont think they would be a good substitute for this.

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    1. Good question Jane? Pine nuts contain more oil in them, while Bunya nuts, have a lot more starch. The starch component might turn it rancid, quicker? Luckily they're delicious to eat on their own. :)

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  8. Well they are double lucky genetically then since you are a gorgeous couple.

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    1. Aww, shucks. You made me blush! :)

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  9. Hi Chris, I was given about 4 big Bunya nuts today thought I might try a pesto. The man who gave them to me makes gnocchi with them.

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    1. I replied to Jane about the pesto. I guessitmate, it might contain too much starch, to keep pesto for long. Maybe if it was used up quickly, and kept refrigerated. Bunya nuts can be kept for a long time if refrigerated.

      Interesting, you should mention the guy who makes gnocchi out of them. Because they would be starchy enough for the job! Actually, they would be very delicious, I reckon.

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