Ever seen a Boab tree,

well how about

80% of Australians, including myself, would drop dead from hunger in the Australian bush. Now, not that I’m saying that turning a wombat into a tasty stew or a fancy hat should be part of the school curriculum but it does point to a certain disconnectedness with our environment on a fairly fundamental level. This is why this man, and not Richard Olney, is my foodie hero.

To quote the Major himself

All these creeks are named after people who died in the area. What I can’t understand is how a bloke could die with so much tucker around.

Negotiating the treacherous car park at Herdy Markets I found these Boab roots. Boab roots come from, as you may have guessed the boab tree. They’re from the North West and I’ve not seen them down here before but if you want to get a bit of background on them the I’ll point you to: The Prospect of Commercialising Boab Roots as a Vegetable . It’s pretty dry but it has proven to me that it’s possible to write at length about food without using gorgeous, marvellous, or sublime.

Ahmm oh yes what do they taste like. They have the crunchy texture of water chestnuts and none of the starchiness of potatoes. It reminds me of the centre core of a carrot in its crisp juiciness. This is good, now what to do with it?

Links for bush tucker: here and here’s a reason to get Windows.


  1. Jeanne’s avatar

    I looked at the title to your post & thought, hmm, this reminds me of something. We have baobab trees back home in SA and guess what – this link http://www.baobabs.com/Baobabs_species.htm
    confirmed that your boab trees and our baobab trees are indeed one and the same species. You guys just seem to have lost a syllable somewhere along the way!

    As kids we used to call them “upside down” trees as they look like their roots are up in the air, and here is a rather amusing legend describing how they got to look like this http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/baobab.htm

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Jeanne
    Two sylla words are as much as we can cope with here in Aussie.

    Liked the story. Major Les said something about the seeds floating over here OR with a mysterious twinkle in his eye said that the seeds are edible and would be just the thing for an ocean voyage…

  3. Santos’s avatar

    ooh, science class. baobabs and boabs are also related to the durian….

    the root looks like gobo, and sounds like it tastes similar to burdock. couldn’t you treat it as such?

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    hey never knew that.

    Not quite as fibrous as gobo a bit closer to renkon (lotus root). Mmmmm renkon hasami age

  5. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Never saw this before, but like Santos said, this looks like gobo. If you think it’s more like hasu, then perhaps you can pickle this, or marinate it in soy sauce…or if you want to cook it, then how’s about a dish like nishime?

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    Nice ideas, I need to do some experimenting, so far I’ve just eaten it raw, tempura might be nice too. Nothing else to compare it to anything that’s available here which makes me wonder why it’s been just sitting under the ground here for so long.

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