Australian Tropical Fruits

  • Posted by Julian Bradder
  • August 26, 2011 9:35 PM AEST

Much as the warmth, near constant sunshine and cooling breezes of tropical lattitudes are highly attractive, the abundance of weird, wonderful and delicious fruits are for me a star attraction at such latitudes. The discovery of unique and mouth watering fruits means as much to me as a tropical sunset, a dip in the warm ocean and the absorption of a laid back culture compeled by warmth such as that found in the tropics.


I have been lucky enough to travel to many tropical destinations. The Caribbean, always a favouriteThe Australian Kakadu Plum is actually more like an Olive for me, The Maldives, Seychelles, each having their own distinct tropical flavour. But for me, Australia offers not just the familiar tropical fruits - the mango, banana, lychee and so on - but also some fabulous native fruit species such as the Lemon Aspen, Wild Lime (closely related to the West Indian Lime), Riberries, Muntries, Kakadu Plum (more reminiscent of an Olive), Kakadu Plum, and the rare Davidson Plum.


Each of these fruits lends its own special flavour, some great to eat raw, others that lend themselves to sauces, desserts, to flavour meat dishes and to spice up a delicious alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail.


The Illawara Plum is a great enhancer to a chilli sauce or to add to a chocolate pudding. The Davidson Plum, somewhat stronger than the average plum, can be the foundation of a rich coulis. Muntries go well with pork and with duck whilst the Riberrie can replace cloves and add zing to a long vodka drink.


The cliche of Australian food being wholly descendant of the stodgy British cooking tradition is a nonsense. Here is a country with ingredients so rich and with flavours so unique that they are simply undiscoverable anywhere else in the world. Combine that with the surge of Asian influence, there are few places where tantalising the palette can be such a wonderful and engrossing experience. Tropical fruit is just a starter for ten. With tropical seafood aplenty, the foodie has much to live for in Australia. And we haven't even begun to discuss to foods of Australia's more temperate regions.