Every January, the people of Australia celebrate the nations birthday by throwing huge parties and eating and drinking like kings and queens for a day. You can’t help but see the sense of national pride at these events, and we here at Bluebird believe that this is the perfect time to celebrate the natural resources that Australia provides us with. In terms of cooking, that means using native herbs and spices that have been around for thousands of years, and which can give your meals an added touch of flavour that you would otherwise miss out on. We could put together a huge list of these scrumptious ingredients, but we have decided to settle on just a few that are easy to find, and which will be sure to give your next meal an added boost of deliciousness.

• Mountain pepper – This delicious little shrub is native to woodlands of southeastern Australia, and its leaf, when dried and ground, creates a spice that is routinely used to flavour meat, eggs, and vegetables. Add a little dash at the beginning and end of your cooking cycle for best results.
• Forest anise – This great spice will add a splash of aniseed flavouring to your dishes, and is especially good when used with seafood, white meat, and even some desserts. It also combines very nicely with the next item on our list.
• Lemon myrtle – Lemon is routinely used to deliver a refreshing burst of flavour to a wide variety of chicken and seafood dishes. Rather than wasting a bunch of time squeezing lemons to get the juice you need, simply add a little dash of this wonderful spice.
• Pepperberries – When you think of berries, you tend to think of something sweet, but the humble pepperberry delivers something a little different. The native berry starts off sweet, but delivers a little blast of heat at the end. This is why the pepperberry spice is often used as a unique alternative to regular peppers.
• Yakaijrri and Akudjura – If you love to make your own sauces and marinades, you are probably used to handling tomatoes. These two bush tomatoes offer up a different type of flavour that can help you create a sauce with some real zing.
• Wattleseed – There is no better way to finish off a meal than with a delicious dessert, and wattleseed is an ingredient you really need to consider if you are a fan of chocolatey/nutty/coffee flavours. This delicious spice is at home in countless amazing dessert recipes.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the amazing flavours that our country has to offer, but it’s certainly a great start. Why wait until next Australia Day to give these a taste when you can start cooking and baking with them today.

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