Oz Tukka: Modern Take on Ancient Foods
Oz Tukka translates to Australian Tucker, where tucker means food. Most of Australia's food crop has been imported during the past 250 years since white settlement. But indigenous Australians, considered by some to be the world's oldest surviving culture, thrived for 40,000+ years on the endemic foods this ancient land provided. It has only been in the past decade or so that these foods have been given the once over for inclusion in a mainstream diet. Oz Tukka is just one of the companies working this realm, offering a line of spices and oil derived from native bush foods. Although not certified 'organic' in many cases the raw materials are hand harvested directly from 'the wild' by aboriginal enterprises. This not only provides an important source of income, but "gives new incentives for traditional land management and opportunities to pass valuable knowledge from the older to the younger generation. It is mostly older women that collect the fruits and seeds in the company of grandchildren." The spices Oz Tukka supply include Bush Tomato, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Pepper, Native Mint and Wattle Seed. Additionally they sell a Macadamia Nut Oil, which they say is even higher in healthy monounsaturate fats than the much revered olive oil. Like the macadamia nut, some of the other bush foods are getting such rave reviews that they are being developed into commercial crops as well. Interest in Australian bush foods, like the rediscovery of pharmacological riches from the world's rainforests, reminds us that western culture, for all it's technosavvy, has much more still to learn. ::Oz Tukka.