Bunya nut tree

Two of these magnificent trees guard the entrance to Long Timber.

As I descend the driveway their size astounds me. I gingerly stand below one and aim the camera up into the branches hoping a Bunya nut doesn’t fall on my head.

The nuts grow on the tree encased in an oblong globe about the size of my head. They are prolific and nutritious. The Aborigines lite a fire on Candle Mountain to signal when they were ripe. Always excited to try new foods Wally helped me take two of them back to the shop.

The first picture shows the nut as it falls from the tree. The second shows the core after the nuts are removed

I researched the Internet to find out how to cook them.

One video said just boil for 12 minutes slice and the nut pops out of the shell. A girlfriend and I boiled and we attacked it with a knife but nothing happened. After an hour of struggle, we watched another video which said to boil for 35 minutes use a very sharp knife and lots of pressure on a hot nut to split it and if it is still warm it will let go of its shell. Once it is cool it just sticks. With the correct instructions it was possible but still not easy.The boiled nuts have a soft nutty flavor that absorb other seasonings.

“It doesn’t take long to make a feed out of them.” The video said, and that was true. I made patties with eggs and onion and they turned out well. The next day I made pesto using a food processor, which took me a few days to acquire. They don’t sell Cuisinart food processors in Australia so I searched and found a Mini Wizz by a company called Breville that did the trick. I whizzed together basil, parsley, and garlic added olive oil, parmesan cheese and ground Bunya nut for a tasty pesto spread.

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