Understanding what plants and animals were edible and how to prepare them was and is an integral part of Aboriginal cultures in Australia. Over the years, there have been a number of books published on this topic, providing rich insights into the oldest surviving cultures on earth. This recent release Bush Tukka Guide is a real gem, nice and compact in size with foods from a number of regions.
Samantha Martin, the “Bush Tukka Woman”, shares her knowledge and love of bush tucker in her text Bush Tukka Guide. This book provides detailed descriptions of how and where to source each plant or animal species. Samantha Martin is also a descendant of the Kija and Jaru peoples of the east Kimberly region in Western Australia. She was born into a long line of traditional hunters and gatherers and had the opportunity to learn from her family how to survive off the land and surrounding waters. In the book, she also shares her favourite bush tukka recipes, including lemon myrtle slow cooked kangaroo and caramel cluster figs with ice-cream. Sounds delicious!!
If you are interested in other books on the subject of bush tucker, check out Tim Low’s Bush Tucker: Australia’s Wild Food Harvest. Low, a biologist and conservationist also wrote Bush Medicine: both coffee table books won national prizes in Australia at the time.