On my travels around the supermarket this week, I came across a new taste sensation. I am always on the hunt for something unique to tempt my bored old tastebuds. I meandered through the aisles as usual, my eyes wandered, stopped and darted back to a pack of ‘nugget’ chips! Coconut flavour. Oooh and aaaah I hear you sigh. Yes!

It could have been a disaster, a traumatic experience for the old tasties. But no. These so-called chips tasted like coconut macaroons. Whoopee. It’s a kinda caramel popcorn/ pancake & bacon experience. It’s weird, but it works! Sweet, kinda savoury and crunchy and nuggety and chippy! Weird, taste it!

I love variety in my snacks, in my food. One of my favourite is the Jelly Belly variety of jelly beans. They challenge your preconceived ideas of j.bs. Initially, the chilli J.Bs were hideous, but I’ve actually grown to love them. They’re weird but taste them and vooom! your mouth will explode with flavour bombs pinging around giving your tastebuds a well earned party, a rest from the mundane tastes of the everyday.

Another weird but taste-it food is the snail. You may gag at the thought but really, in the end, they are simply another type of meat. Chewy meat, but tasty when drowned in a white wine garlic sauce – mwwwa!

image by Eric in SF

My son is horrified and fascinated that I have eaten crocodile. Well, they eat us, why can’t we eat them? “What does it taste like, mum?”; “Chicken!” (as every white non-fish meat seems to). While we’re on to native animals, let’s talk about the controversial topic of kangaroo meat.

Poor old skippy! Shot in the prime of his/her life. Poked, prodded and served in a plastic container in every supermarket in Australia. It is a rare delicacy, especially when you don’t know how to cook it properly. Kangaroo is a healthy, tasty and unique meat but are we cannibals if we eat them? Is it cruel because they’re so cute? Is it cruel not to when they overrun our land and send our farmers batty? It comes down to the old argument about why there are animals. If there are animals for meat, then eating kangaroo is hunky dory. If it is for companionship, then we are being near-cannibals, eating our mates. I’ll let you make your own mind up about our national treasure. Try this recipe below and let me know your ethical and gastronomical view on the whole Kangaroo issue.

Barbecued kangaroo & macadamia salad with honey mustard dressing

 

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 dried lemon myrtle leaves (or 1/2 tsp lemon myrtle seasoning)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs macadamia oil (see note)
  • 2 tbs Australian Bush Spices Red Meat Blend or chopped fresh thyme
  • 600g kangaroo loin fillets (see note)
  • 2 cups each baby spinach & rocket leaves
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (75g) roasted macadamia halves
  • Honey mustard dressing

  • 2 tsp honey mustard
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) macadamia oil (see note)

Method

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the lemon myrtle, rosemary leaves, garlic cloves and macadamia oil to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spice mix. Add the kangaroo fillets and turn to coat in the spice mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. Heat chargrill pan or barbecue over high heat. When hot, add the kangaroo fillets and cook for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare or until the fillets are cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and rest, covered loosely with foil, for 5 minutes.
  3. For the dressing, whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl until combined.
  4. Combine spinach and rocket in a large bowl. Slice the fillets 1cm thick and scatter over the leaves with the onion, capsicum and macadamias. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Kangaroo fillets are available from selected supermarkets and butchers. Macadamia oil is available from gourmet food shops and selected supermarkets.

(Recipe courtesy of taste.com.au – http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21609/barbecued+kangaroo+macadamia+salad+with+honey+mustard+dressing)

 

Onwards and upwards. I’m happy to try almost any food in the world. I even tasted the Chinese delicacy, chicken’s feet. I don’t recommend it though; a bit meatless. I do have my limits including: monkey brain, horse, cat, dog, rat, giraffe and all African animals (unless they are tasty pests), whale, dolphin, red-back spider and ant (they stink when you squish them). What weird things have you eaten and either regretted or enjoyed? Ooo and do share your favourite weird recipe!! Life is an adventure. Taste and see…

 

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