Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Regional Australia Food - Australian Native Foods: Lemon Myrtle


Photo: Lemon Myrtle

Australia's CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is one of the best sources of information (here) on Australia's emerging native foods industry whether you are interested in becoming a producer or as a consumer.

The macadamia nut is Australia's best known native food and so far is the only one to achieve major international success. Lemon Myrtle is probably the next best known.

Growing to a height of over 15 metres, Lemon Myrtle originated in the sub-tropical and tropical rainforest areas of Queensland with a natural rainfall greater than 800m. However, commercial growing was developed in the humid coastal zone of Northen NSW.

The leaves contain between 0.33 - 0.86 % essential oil consisting almost entirely of citral, giving it a strong lemon flavour. In summary:
  • COLOR - bright green herb with pale yellow flecks of citrus
  • AROMA - early sweet lemon, lime and lemongrass oil bouquet with a citrus middle nose
  • PALATE - robust lemon flavour-scent complemented with a mild acid citrus back palate and faint anise and green tea

Current retail product categories include:

  • Tea blends and beverages, dairy, biscuits, breads, confectionery, pasta, syrups, liqueurs, flavoured oils, packaged fish/salmon. Dipping Sauces, Simmer Sauces. For use in sweet and savoury dishes.
  • Non-food products include deodorants, cosmetics, air fresheners, washing powders, disinfectants, soaps and facial creams.

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