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Ok I’m sharing another album of pictures again for their beauty not 100% identified as food, these were all found in either the Port Douglas or Whyanbeel area along river banks and roads sides, as I cant walk very far most days I find a lot of my mayi/food driving along roads very slowly, my legs n back don’t get sore this way but my neck sure does! We used to call tourist swivel necks not sure what I would be classes as but I think most people assume I’m a bloody tourist driving slow so they just blow me off and go around me which is fine by me.
I have labelled what I have identified and put whether edible, on this trip I found a few introduced food plants that have escaped cultivation from tropical fruit farms and ya don’t see me complaining
I haven’t got separate pictures of the Mangoes, Apple star fruit or the two little figs you can see in the top picture.
Again I hope you enjoy.
All these fruit have NOT been 100% identified as edible I am just sharing because they all looked so pretty, I have labeled what I think identifications are and only put edible by the ones I know are edible ok, if you think I am wrong and can help me please drop me a line I appreciate any help.
All these fruits are from the Cape Tribulation area of the Daintree Rainforest. Enjoy
No it’s not what you think I’m not talking about lizards and goats I talking mayi/food of course…….
First off I wanted to show you a picture of the Billy goat plums or Cocky apples (Planchonia careya) I picked these early so they are green as in not ripe because I was worried I would miss the season because I’m leaving now so I picked a handful to show you what they look like. I haven’t really eaten them yet so cant say how they taste I will experiment with them next year when back up this way.
Next is the blue tongue (Melastoma malabathricum) this is a gorgeous native shrub with pinkish soft purple flowers and after the flower has finished it produces an unusual looking berry tasting fruit, this is the closest fruit to a berry that I have found they are yummy and yes they do stain your mouth and fingers black hence their common name but the staining isn’t much different than from black berries and mulberries I guess.
I put these into a smoothy and it made it go purple and they gave it a zingy berry taste, you find these along road sides mostly so they are easy to pick and if you wanted to plant native food plants this one would be useful and very pretty and I’m sure the birds in your area would love you for it too so win win for all.
As I said before syzyguims are one of the most prolific of useful wild foods native and none native, here I am showing the Wada/White apples (Syzygium monospermum) and to show you how similar they can be I’m showing you the White crab apple (Syzygium pseudofastigiatum) along side it. These two are not the most similar there are others much harder to differentiate between but it is a good example.
The White crab apples I found the other day are massive I haven’t seen them this big before so while I had them and the wada/white apple together I did these comparison shots I always find these kind of shots useful with very similar species. Oh and by the way I had to correct an incorrect identification on the white crab apple from previous post some of the plant information on the net is confusing and I got confused with this one, I was really sure it was a Syzygium at first but after scrolling though hundreds of picture I got convinced it was (Schizomeria ovata) so I have changed the post.
Now there are a few different Syzygiums with the common name “white apple” so this can be confusing to and it is even more confusing because like this one I’m showing here it has another very commonly use common name the “bumpy satinash” in the local language Kuku Yalanji it is know as wada, the Syzygium genus are all safe as far as I know so it is no biggy as to whether they are edible or not it is more about whether they are palatable or not.
As far a tastes goes this wada/white apple (Syzygium monospermum) is quite bland, I don’t love it but it is a large abundant fruit so is a good free nutritional food supply, I would probably use this one more as a veggie than a fruit I would put it in stews and breads ect or mixed with nicer fruits. I put both these the white crab apple & the white apple into a smoothy with the blue quandongs and a heap of other fruits and it was great.
While we are talking biggest fruits ever I will also share a picture of the biggest janbal/blue quandong (Elaeocarpus angustifolius) I have ever found yet…….
Note- Aboriginal words use are Kuku Yalangi, when I am on their country I try to use their language where I can.
Note- the coin is an Australian dollar.
I stumbled across this one on a dark stormy day after fighting my way through the wait a while’s or Lawyer canes (Calamus australis) I came around the side of this massive tree trunk and there right in front of me where these little glistening orange gems littering the forest floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes they were like little glowing lights, I busied myself picking them up and putting them in my basket exited to be heading home with a new mayi/food for yaba Mick to try.
I got home took photos looked up the correct botanical name which is Diploglottis bearneana and popped the little babies out that were still in their shells into a bowl and rinsed them, we eagerly did the taste test they are tart and sour like the introduced tamarind (Tamarindus indica) hence the common name but very different it is hard to explain, I love them yaba Mick not so much, I have been nibbling on them ever since & I am going to put them into my mango and pineapple smoothie tonight YUM!
Word of warning the little hairs all over the pods are an irritant don’t wipe sweet of your face before washing your hand like I did not good
Well I’m so surprised by the variety of fungi popping up here in the tropics! I thought the majority of fungi were temperate but no some species I have found in a temperate zones are popping up here in the tropics so I think fungi may be more dependent on rain not temperatures, very interesting.
I have found what I think is a field mushroom (Agaricus sp.) of some sort it is smaller than the ones in Trouwunna/Tasmania but taste the same I also found a small amount of tinny puff balls of the Lycoperdon genus along the road and then blow be down if yaba Mick & his mate didn’t turn up back home with two large puff balls from up around Cooktown area, he figured I would be able to say if edible or not they all think it is quite funny my obsession and excitement over mayi/wild foods and they just looked at each other and laughed when I said YES you can eat them and got all exited about it……..
The puff balls they found are what I believe to be the brain puff ball (Calvatia craniformis) it is the biggest puff ball I have seen so far in Australia and yaba mick said there were heaps of them so I will know for next season now.
I fried up the mushies I had found then added parsley and a white sauce, I sliced the two yaba mick bought home and fried them up in olive oil with just a bit of salt and pepper they were nice they went crispy brown on the outside but were still a gooey soft white on the inside like what I remember fried Camembert cheese to be like but not as runny just marshmallowy…..
Puff balls aren’t my favorite mushies but they aren’t bad so I will definitely harvest them next year and please excuse the pictures we all didn’t get home until later in the arvo and it was very stormy and dark, we were going to eat the mushies that night so I had to try to take pictures inside the house, not the best.
Hi Guys, this is just a quick post to ask you to please inform me is you start to see adds on my page……… I’m not impressed about them who ever they are just up and having the right to do this as I put a lot of effort into my blog and the information on there is free!! I do this work not only because I enjoy it but to help and empower others to make healthier dietary choices and to help people in financial trouble to eat cheaper there is no need for people to go hungry especially in Australia it is just lack of education, there is so much free food especially weeds that could and should be utilized and I was hoping to help with this education process but if in doing so I think I will be implicated in supporting industries, companies and foods I strongly DO NOT support I will stop blogging, sorry but unless I can find a way around it that is the reality, I need to feel 100% comfortable with what I’m doing and I have a huge objection to imposing pesky adds on people in any way about any thing!!
Cheers for your time n happy foraging
Here is another none native Syzygium species that I found yesterday I caught a glimpse of the fruit whilst driving to town I turned around and went back and I seen these large whitish fruit hanging in the tree and heaps of seeds on the ground, I had been in bed for a week or so and these had fruited ripened and were nearly finished within that week because they were not there last week, I drive past these trees every time I go to town and I wouldn’t have missed them so you have to be quick for these ones.
The fruit has a strong floral smell and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what they smelt like but it was familiar and after finding out what one of the common names is for them it all clicked, they smell of roses hence the common name rose apple, the botanical name is Syzygium jambos.
When you shake the fruit the large seeds inside rattle which is unusual for a Syzygium most I have come across the seeds are firmly held within the flesh not absolutely loose like these, the flesh is crisp and sweet by far this one is my favorite it is sublime, I’m so lucky I came across these.
I kept several to eat fresh in the next couple of day but I had to cook the rest up so yes another jam, I added tamarind (Tamarindus indica) to this one and it is gorgeous.
Well it is 3am in the bloody morning and I’m up n about already the nearly full moon, crying kujir/curlews and singing jarruka/orange footed scrub hen tricked my body clock and maybe I wont sleep at all tonight…….. but that’s ok I must listen to my inner clock and if it says GET UP I do unless very unwell.
So while I’m up to early to do much else I shall blog
I was visiting Aunty the other day to drop off some goodies I had cooked up and noticed these funny shaped red fruits everywhere in her garden I asked her about them and she said they were called bell fruit she also told me the island name for them and darn my memory if I don’t write everything down I forget it unless I hear it a few times and it feels rude to be wiping out the old note pad every time they tell me something so I just got to go with the flow everything come with time hay.
She could see I was very interested in them and said help ya self to them the ones that have fallen in the pot plants are good, so I picked a small basket full up said my good byes and headed home.
I looked the fruit up on the net and decided it must be Syzygium samarangense, there are quite a few different ones of that shape, it isn’t native to Australia. *WRONG! I was just corrected on the species in a native food page it is native it is Syzygium aqueum….. and the common name reminded me of the name Aunty called it Jambu…
Syzygium species would be the most useful genus of plant I have knowledge of so far in my wild food journey, some introduced some native to Australia there are so many of them and in my experience so far I have managed to find at least one in every climate zone I have been in and I find their fruits make up a lot of my wild food diet fresh or cooked and I’m adding to the list continually especially up here in the tropics at the moment.
So at home I sorted the badly bruised ones from the good washed and cut them up to make a jam for her and some of the other Aunties, it is the first time I have seen these up close and personal I remember seeing something similar but larger in Indonesia or Malaysia and I think it was called a lady apple not sure so I had no idea of how it would turn out, I love the unknown it keeps everything interesting.
They cooked up fine and made a lovely bright red jam but unfortunately I don’t love their flavor so we will see if Aunty likes it or not, I had to give it ago and there are so many wild and native fruits up here this one is no loss to me I can afford to be fussy but if the Aunties like it I will cook it up for them.