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Agri & Gardening superfood  murnong gets back to our plates  australia | Upload Vegetables

Superfood! Murnong Gets Back To Our Plates: Australia

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by: Ariana M
superfood  murnong gets back to our plates  australia | Upload

Our diets have always been an important part of our lifestyles and they have changed a lot over the centuries. Foods that were previously considered delicacies are now available at any supermarket and some of our ancestor’s staples have been forgotten. This is the case with murnong, also known as yam daisy, a root vegetable from Australia that has once dominated Indigenous Australians’ menus. Today, historian, author and agriculturalist, Bruce Pascoeis hoping to re-introduce this “superfood” and chefs across Australia are very keen to help.

Key role in Aboriginal people’s daily lives

At first glance, murnong doesn’t look very special – in fact, one could easily mistake it for a dandelion – but the root of the plant has played a key role in Aboriginal people’s daily lives before European settlement. The root is nutty and starchy and according to Pascoe it is eight times as nutritious as a potato.

#superfood Murnong

Image by: Adobe Stock, Murnong

Yam daisies were easy to grow and harvest and provided a steady supply of food all year round, which made them a perfect crop for Indigenous farmers. However, when settlers came to Australia they brought over farm animals and rabbits. Rabbits, sheep and cattle have taken a liking to the plant and farm fields that used to be carpets of yellow yam flowers were now bare. Livestock’s hooves have also damaged the ground, making it impossible for murnong to grow back. Today can still find some yam daisies growing in the bushland in South Eastern Australia, but the plant is still quite rare in the wild.

Combining traditional food and modern gastronomy

Bruce Pascoe is very passionate about reviving methods of traditional horticulture and bringing back the traditional foods. He is doing so with the help of Gurandgi Munjie, a group of Aboriginal men and women sharing the same dream of making native foods mainstream. Together they have been propagating various native grains, fruits and herbs, but murnong has always been the star of the show. Pascoe calls it a superfood for its nutritional properties and chefs around the country experiment with the different ways yam daisies can be cooked and the unique flavours they can bring to the table.

Ben Shewry is the chef of Melbourne’s Attica and one of Pascoe’s most enthusiastic supporters. He is known for his creativity and passion for Indigenous foods and was quoted saying: “I’m longing for the day when we can all buy them [murnong] from Gurandgi Munjie and support Aboriginal men and women to grow the crops of their culture”.

It is interesting to note the versatility of murnong when it comes to gastronomy, as it can be eaten both raw and roasted or fried. When eaten raw, the root is similar in texture to a radish and has a sweet coconutty and grassy taste. Once roasted or fried the flavour transforms into something similar to a salty potato. And chef Shewry recommends trying the leaves of the plant as well – with their slightly bitter taste they are perfect for salads with some red-wine vinegar dressing.

It will be a while before we would be able to see murnongs aplenty, but it is already gathering a lot of attention and hopefully more of us will be able to enjoy this “superfood” very soon.

Are there any native foods from your region that have been forgotten or perhaps even gone extinct? Share your responses with us in the comments!

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/gardening---agriculture

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Superfood! Murnong Gets Back To Our Plates: Australia

Our diets have always been an important part of our lifestyles and they have changed a lot over the centuries. Foods that were previously considered delicacies are now available at any supermarket and some of our ancestor’s staples have been forgotten. This is the case with murnong, also known as yam daisy, a root  vegetable from Australia that has once dominated Indigenous Australians’ menus. Today, historian, author and agriculturalist, Bruce Pascoeis hoping to re-introduce this “superfood” and chefs across Australia are very keen to help. Key role in Aboriginal people’s daily lives At first glance, murnong doesn’t look very special – in fact, one could easily mistake it for a dandelion – but the root of the plant has played a key role in Aboriginal people’s daily lives before European settlement. The root is nutty and starchy and according to Pascoe it is eight times as nutritious as a potato. Image by: Adobe Stock, Murnong Yam daisies were easy to grow and harvest and provided a steady supply of food all year round, which made them a perfect crop for Indigenous farmers. However, when settlers came to Australia they brought over farm animals and rabbits. Rabbits, sheep and cattle have taken a liking to the plant and farm fields that used to be carpets of yellow yam flowers were now bare. Livestock’s hooves have also damaged the ground, making it impossible for murnong to grow back. Today can still find some yam daisies growing in the bushland in South Eastern Australia, but the plant is still quite rare in the wild. Combining traditional  food and modern gastronomy Bruce Pascoe is very passionate about reviving methods of traditional horticulture and bringing back the traditional foods. He is doing so with the help of Gurandgi Munjie, a group of Aboriginal men and women sharing the same dream of making native foods mainstream. Together they have been propagating various native grains, fruits and herbs, but murnong has always been the star of the show. Pascoe calls it a superfood for its nutritional properties and chefs around the country experiment with the different ways yam daisies can be cooked and the unique flavours they can bring to the table. Ben Shewry is the chef of Melbourne’s Attica and one of Pascoe’s most enthusiastic supporters. He is known for his creativity and passion for Indigenous foods and was quoted saying: “I’m longing for the day when we can all buy them [murnong] from Gurandgi Munjie and support Aboriginal men and women to grow the crops of their culture”. It is interesting to note the versatility of murnong when it comes to gastronomy, as it can be eaten both raw and roasted or fried. When eaten raw, the root is similar in texture to a radish and has a sweet coconutty and grassy taste. Once roasted or fried the flavour transforms into something similar to a salty potato. And chef Shewry recommends trying the leaves of the plant as well – with their slightly bitter taste they are perfect for salads with some red-wine vinegar dressing. It will be a while before we would be able to see murnongs aplenty, but it is already gathering a lot of attention and hopefully more of us will be able to enjoy this “superfood” very soon. Are there any native foods from your region that have been forgotten or perhaps even gone extinct? Share your responses with us in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/category/gardening---agriculture