When Joseph Maiden alighted on the shores of the new colony, he discovered an abundance of botanical wealth. But he was not the first. Many of the plants he catalogued had been used by the original inhabitants for thousands of years, for reasons both gastronomical and medicinal. These wonderful specimens now flavour Maidenii Vermouths, symbols of a land both very old and very young.
WATTLESEED Acacia spp.
Wattle trees, the symbol of the new colony, can be found on desert plains and scrubby slopes across the land. Most varieties provide sustenance as well as symbolism. Dried pods contain wattle seed, a versatile flavouring with subtle coffee and chocolate undertones.
Uses & Substitutions: The nutty undertones of wattle seeds make it a quintessentially Australian culinary ingredient. Ground it offers a caffeine free alternative to coffee. It can be added to muffins, sprinkled over muesli or used as a base for ice-cream. To prepare, gently heat wattleseed in a pan to release its flavoursome oils.
Traditional use: Wattle has fed the people of this land for thousands of years, and continues to do so in the arid desert regions where traditional ways of life survive. Women would collect the ripe seedpods; extract the seed or ‘yandy’, and clean in a coolamon. The seed would then be dried and roasted before being ground into flour. Mixed with water, this dough became damper cooked on the coals.