Foraging Tours in Australia
Organic? Locally grown? Seasonal menus are so last season. Impress your snobbiest foodie friends by hunting for your own wild edibles. By DIANA HUBBELL.
Published on Oct 26, 2015
Foraged foods may have reached superstar status at Noma and its emulators in Copenhagen, but lately the trend has been flourishing further south. Top tables in Australia including Attica, in Melbourne, and Orana, in Adelaide, are luring diners with ingredients like cinnamon myrtle and sea blite. It's not just chefs rooting around for chanterelles either; these days casual Aussie gourmands are getting down and dirty scrounging for prized edibles not far from their own backyards. With terrain this lush and varied, a few hours of toil can yield delicious results.
THE TRUFFLE & WINE CO.
Forget Piedmont—fragrant black winter truffles are stashed away in Manjimup in Australia's wild west. It takes an especially sensitive schnoz to find these beauts, so you'll be paired with a trained canine companion to search for the black gold, which you'll then be served fresh at a gourmet lunch. Hunts are seasonal and spaces fill up fast, so sign up well in advance to secure a spot. truffleandwine.com.au; truffle hunts late May through late August.
Unearth black gold on a truffle hunt with The Truffle & Wine Co. Craig Kinder.
Doris Pozzi wrote the book on urban foraging—literally. Weekend gatherers can pick up a copy of Edible Weeds and Garden Plants of Melbourne, or try the more hands-on approach on a tour with the author herself. The walks are held in Yarra Valley, an hour outside of Melbourne, making them scenic but accessible for city dwellers. edibleweeds.com.au; Wild Edibles Foraging Walks.
He may have been born Josh Whiteland, but the founder of this company prefers to go by his traditional Wadandi name: Koomal. Follow him into the depths of Ngilgi Cave for a didgeridoo jam session with Carnegie-worthy acoustics, then learn how to forage medicial plants in the bushes and build a fire. koomaldreaming.com.au; Aboriginal Food, Culture, Cave & Didge Tour .
Let Koomal (left) show you the secrets of the outback. Courtesy of Koomal Dreaming.
SEIT OUTBACK AUSTRALIA
Test your survival skills in the Northern Territory as you scavenge for bush seeds. You'll walk away with a newfound appreciation for the diversity of life in this stark, gorgeous landscape. seitoutbackaustralia.com.au; Bush Tucker and Reptiles tour.
CLOSER TO HOME
Is Oz too far afield? Check out these Asian options.
Venture into the jungles surrounding Luang Prabang in search of tasty hidden treasures and roaring waterfalls. laos-travel-agency.com.
Prized matsutake and porcini mushrooms in all shapes and colors grow in the rich soil of Yunnan province. Scour the woods for precious fungi, then gorge on your glorious harvest. shaxichina.com.
A true immersion experience, this five-day homestay in the rural Isan town of Koh Phet will have you hunting and eating frogs, insects and lizards, as well as more conventional plants. Intrepid travelers can brag to their friends about combing for water beetles and scorpions, although the faint of heart—or stomach—should steer clear. thailandhomestay.com.