Lemon myrtle sprinkle is deliciously aromatic and an extremely versatile, all native ingredient, herb and fruit mix which can be used in an extremely wide range of dishes, including an exceptional herbal tea.
COLOR – bright green herb with pale yellow flecks of citrus
AROMA – early sweet lemon, lime and lemongrass oil bouquet with a citrus middle nose
PALATE – robust lemon flavour-scent complemented with a mild acid citrus back palate and faint anise and green tea late notes
Lemon myrtle sprinkle could be considered even more lemony than lemon myrtle because of its unique formulation. It is a blend of the best quality lemon myrtle leaf; wild, rainforest lime pulp and lemon aspen pulp (specially dried in the dark and milled at sub-zero temperatures) which provide a hint of acid; and I have worked in more lemon myrtle using encapsulated, lemon myrtle essential oil. Finally, there’s some aniseed myrtle which is a good source of trans-anethole. Trans-anethole is a phyto-estrogen and immune system stimulant. This results in a mix which is probably closer to 125% as lemony as lemon myrtle leaf alone and a more rounded flavour as well.
But back to the lemon myrtle in Lemon myrtle sprinkle. This ‘herb’ comes from a tall rainforest tree (up to 30m) and once was only found in SE Queensland, from Brisbane to Cairns but is now widely planted in coastal New South Wales and some even in South Australia, Victoria as well as our coldest State, Tasmania. The growth rate is highest in warmer climates but leaf quality can vary with plant nutrition, watering regimes, the weather, time of day and harvest cycles. The Lemon myrtle leaves are now more-often machine harvested for the food, cosmetic, fragrance and cut flower industries. Some growers still pick by hand, particularly for cottage industry products such as oils and vinegars where a whole leaf may be added as a garnish. Generally, though, larger scale manufacturers look to the distilled essential oil which might be solubilised or encapsulated for functionality and ease of use. So for culinary uses as an all-purpose, sweet or savoury lemon seasoning.
Lemon myrtle sprinkle can be used in an unlimited number of ways: As a herb tea, just infuse to your own taste in boiling water or tea. I love a tiny amount added to my freshly brewed, super-strong coffee as it brings out the flavor of the coffee itself and adds those heady aromatics of citral to complement the coffee. It’s also good in hot chocolate. Try Lemon Myrtle tea with ginger juice, black or green tea, rooibos or other herbals and even chill and gas it with a soda stream to make your own soft drinks. (Add sugar or fruit juice and sweeten it to taste). I tend to make a strong infusion to use as a health-giving tea and a weaker one as a soft drink which I drink a lot, ice cold and bubbly. As a lemon spice, Lemon myrtle sprinkle is best used as a finishing seasoning. By this I mean add it to hot or just-cooked food before serving and the essential oils are driven out by the warmth to reach your tastebuds. So if you bake chicken or fish, add a sprinkle of Lemon myrtle sprinkle as it comes out of the oven and it’ll be full-flavored by the time it gets to the table.
As a flavouring, say, in custards or any soft cheeses, clotted cream, yoghurt or other dairy product you can just add it to taste or infuse the flavor out by infusing some Lemon myrtle sprinkle in warmed milk and add this as a concentrate. You can obviously make this as strong as you like and by leaving it stand for up to 10 minutes, out comes the essential oils and up goes the flavor.
You can replace the milk with sugar syrup (say, 500ml water and 500g sugar dissolved by heating the stirred mixture slowly) and use this over stewed fruits, ice cream (or to make your own ice cream), thicken it with agar agar or gelatine to make a soft jelly or add lemon juice and turn it into a lemon spread with the pectin.
Suggested recipes using Lemon Myrtle Sprinkle
Ingredients: lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, lemon aspen juice, wild lime puree, rice flour, lemon myrtle essential oil