Wattle We Eat Now? (that's the Royal 'We')

Wattle We Eat Now? (that's the Royal 'We')

The Queen’s 15th visit to Australia was complemented with a dinner at the Great Hall of Parliament House. Like many official functions for all types of heads of state, politicians, royalty, sheiks, religious leaders and so on, this week’s event featured Cherikoff ingredients, at least the one of which I am most proud – Wattleseed. After all, I invented it!

The dish was a dessert – a Wattleseed, macadamia nut and marscapone tart which contrasted the developed and now world famous Queensland bopple nut with the ‘about to be discovered’ Wattleseed.

The Queen and many of her household are no strangers to authentic Australian flavours. Even the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles enjoyed my cooking as well as meals prepared by others who used my ingredients. By the way, I was really tickled when I met Prince Charles a few years back and gave him a copy of my second book, Uniquely Australian A Wild Food Cookbook. He looked at my name on the cover and immediately said “Thank you, I’ll put it into the library with your other book.” Was I blown away or what?

And The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, got a taste of my authentic flavours as far back as 1988 during a scientific expedition I was on in the Kimberley. This was during an Anglo-Australian scientific survey in Bunaba country run by the British organisations for which Prince Philip was the patron. I catered for a big mob of dignitaries, locals and scientists at Policemen’s Camp in the Napier Range cooking for over 100 all up with all the food cooked cup mari (Northern Aboriginal term for a ground oven).

But consider the dessert served to the Queen’s party: The native Australian rainforest nut is named after the Scottish philosopher and scientist, John MacAdam who first promoted their cultivation way back in the late 1880s. Now, nearly 150 years later, I am promoting the use of Wattleseed as another indigenous crop, particularly suited for arid areas and best plantation grown for economies of scale. I predict that Wattleseed production might soon be bigger than that for macadamias.

Not only is AFI Wattleseed fantastic in tarts as eaten by the Queen, but it is equally good in ice cream (in Chicago or New York try the Wattleseed ice cream at Vosges Chocolates) or order some Wattleseed from us on-line and bake it into bread at home (or if you are in Europe, ask for it in hot bread shops). Wattleseed is also delicious in chocolates (ask for some info), desserts, sauces, beverages, beer and probably an infinite number of other applications.

The soon-to-be World famous Rolled Wattleseed pavlova is now available for chefs (email us for details) or in all Black Stump restaurants in and around Sydney. For my recipe, check this out.

For more information on Wattleseed and how I first developed it into a flavouring using the seeds of species eaten by Aborigines in Central Australia, click through to the page on Wattleseed here

Vic Cherikoff