To look at the frozen bloody stump that once propelled Australia’s icon across the Outback is to seriously consider vegetarianism.
And that’s a dramatic statement, given my current location. Down here in rural South Australia, scotch fillet and beef schnitzel are the most popular items on the Nundroo Roadhouse menu. Chips are considered a vegetable, and vegan is a term I have yet to hear.
With over 29 million cows in the country, it is easy to see why certified Aussie Angus steak dominates the palate. Ranching is a massive and proud industry; yet, by current environmental standards, we should be eating more kangaroo. Roaming “The Centre” in uncountable numbers, ‘roos produce less methane, graze more sustainably and cause less ground damage than their bovine neighbors.
Aboriginals have been eating them for years. The indigenous cooking method roasts the tail over a fire, or hot coals, until all fur is burned off. But the lingering stench, I was warned, would turn a foreigner’s hunger off.
So Chef Ceaser skinned ours first, carefully removed the sinew and turned it into a sweet and sour soup.
The result tasted like Australia itself: a solid broth with an infusion of ethnic spices, and a kick as strong as that from the feet of a giant Red ‘roo. Distinctive and powerful.
“Bush tucker” – food that is found and/or eaten in Australia’s remote locations – has just recently made an appearance in most big-city restaurants. From Witchetty Gub to quandong pie, what’s the wildest dish you’ve eaten in Oz?
Kelli Mutchler left a small, Midwest American town to prove that Yanks can, and do, chose alternative lifestyles. On the road for five years now, Kelli has tried news reporting and waitressing, bungy jumping and English teaching. Currently working with Burmese women refugees in Thailand, she hopes to pursue a MA in Global Development. Opportunities and scenes for international travel are encouraged on her blog, www.toomutchforwords.com.