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Australian Aboriginal sweet foods

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– Arrernte sweet foods and drinks:
– Ngkwarle athenge arlperle – Ironwood tree gum
– Ngkwarle alkerampwe – Mulga tree gum
– Ngkwarle arlperrampwe – Whitewood tree gum
– Ngkwarle atnyerampwe – Supplejack tree gum
– Ngkwarle akikarre – Witchetty bush gum

– Other sweet foods and drinks:
– Banksia: Flower spike in water for a sweet drink
– Grevillea: Nectar eaten or mixed with water
– Xanthorrhoea: Sweet drink from nectar soaked in water

– See also:
– Food portal

– References:
– Turner, Margaret-Mary, Arrernte Foods: Foods from Central Australia, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 1994, ISBN0-949659-76-2, pp1-10

Australian Aboriginal people have many ways to source sweet foods. The four main types of sweet foods gathered – apart from ripe fruit – were:

  • honey from ants and bees (sugarbag, see below)
  • leaf scale (honeydew – lerps)
  • tree sap
  • flower nectar

In some parts of Australia, these customs are still used today, particularly in Central Australia. Foods collected can be eaten directly as a sweet or made into a sweet drink.

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