Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Airline menus, Wattleseed and other authentic Australian food

It’s great to see Wattleseed on so many airline menus. It was once only a traditional Aboriginal wild food which I turned into a flavouring back in 1984 transforming parched seeds into a roasted, toasted ingredient for a multitude of culinary applications. See this article for more.

Wattleseed ANZAC biscuits have survived Neil Perry’s attempts to dump them on Qantas (probably not Asian enough and certainly no Spanish olive oil in the recipe).

The Wattleseed cake served on Thai Airlines is a good use for Wattleseed too as the coffee, chocolate and hazelnut flavour really works in a buttery cake.

And Wattleseed ice cream occasionally gets onto Japanese Airlines and Air New Zealand, even if only for better than cattle class passengers.

If fact, Air New Zealand uses far more authentic Australian foods than Qantas any day of the week. Air New Zealand is a large consumer of lemon myrtle with lots of it heading across the Tasman to be used in in-flight menus for passengers heading to Australia “to give them a taste of what’s to come”.

I can’t wait for more airline catering companies to see the value in this. We have our own flavour and Australian herbs and spices can be far more impactful than the standard fare of pretty uninspiring in-flight food.

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Vic Cherikoff