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Australian bush fruits are native fruits of Australia that are used as food by Aboriginal people. Fruits were an important part of the Aboriginal diet. Ripe fruits were a treat and provided important nutrients and vitamins. Many native Australian fruits are also rich in antioxidants. Australian bush fruits have quite strong flavours. While the Aborigine mostly ate them raw as an out-of-hand food, white settlers thought their taste too tart to enjoy them raw. Today they are used for cooking and as a flavour-giving ingredient in many products.

Other sweet foods eaten as a treat included nectar, native honey from bees and ants, honeydew and gum.

Some of the better-known bush fruits are:

  • appleberry (Billardiera scandens)
  • brush cherry (Syzygium australe)
  • Burdekin plum (Pleiogynium timorense)
  • bush banana (Leichhardtia australis)
  • cherry ballart (Exocarpus cupressformis)
  • Davidson's plum (Davidsonia pruriens)
  • desert lime (Eremocitrus glauca)
  • finger lime (Microcitrus australasia)
  • geebung (Persoonia)
  • Illawara plum (Podocarpus elatus)
  • lemon aspen (Acronychia acidula)
  • lilly pillies (Acmena und Syzygium)
  • midyimberry (Austromyrtus dulcis)
  • muntries (Kunzea pomifera)
  • native figs (Ficus)
  • native melon (Cucumis trigonus)
  • native raspberry (Rubus Parvifolius)
  • quandong (Santalum acuminatum)
  • riberry (Syzygium luehmannii)
  • rose myrtle (Archirhodomyrtus beckleri)
  • wild orange (Capparis mitchellii)
  • wild pear or snottygobble (Persoonia longifolia)
  • wild plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana)

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Popular uses of bush fruits in modern cuisine

Modern bushfood uses native Australian fruits in jams, sauces and preserves. Some are used to flavour oils or vinegars. Native fruits are also candied or added to desserts, ice cream and drinks. It has become fashionable to add bush fruit flavours to traditional recipes like confit or crème brulée.

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