If you’ve never heard of an ice cream bean and you’re sitting there scratching your head thinking – what in the world is an ice cream bean? – don’t worry, you’re not alone.
While immensely popular in its native habitat in South America (villages even hold competitions to see who can find the biggest ice cream bean pods and monkeys love them), it doesn’t enjoy the same celebrity status in Australia where it grows wild in the tropical north.
It’s a shame because the white, spongy flesh inside the seed pods is delicious!
So named because the flavour has been described as similar to vanilla ice cream, I’m more inclined to describe it as kind of like a custard apple.
It is soft and spongy in texture, and the juice that comes out once you chew it, is quite sweet.
Learning how to catch doggie mackerel for the table has become a family tradition in my house and recently my son had a chance to put his skills to the test.
Ever since I was a boy, early morning fishing trips in search of the humble doggie mackerel have been a winter ritual.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat in a small aluminium dinghy in the pre-dawn cool as it glides over the swells of the Coral Sea, on the way to one of the local hot spots.
I didn’t come from a fishing family. My father, and grandfather for that matter, weren’t fishermen.
But for me, it was different – I loved fishing . . .
Bird’s-eye chillies grow like weeds in Far North Queensland. You find them springing up everywhere. In gardens, banana paddocks and along the edges of the rainforest. Most people have no use for them, believing they are way too hot to be enjoyable to eat. It’s a shame because with little effort, they can become a very handy ingredient . . .
Pipis are one of the best tasting wild foods you could wish for and gathering them is a fun outing for the whole family.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people know pipis taste good, yet they never bother to go and collect them. As far as I am concerned they are missing out on one of the ocean’s tastiest treats.
I just love pipis and often hit the local beaches to gather a feed of these delectable little shellfish.