Quandong

A small desert tree up to 4 meters high, with rough dark bark and pale green elongated hanging leaves. Quandong trees use the root system of other trees, shrubs and grasses to supplement their own supply of nutrients and water, and will therefore usually be found growing from the base of another tree. The cream flowers are small and cup shaped, in clusters at the ends of the outer branchlets. The flowers form in late summer and - depending on the season - form fruit which is ready for harvest in early spring.

The shiny, bright scarlet fruit is about 2cm in diameter and contains one large nut or kernel, which is sometimes only marginally smaller than the fruit.

Quandongs have been an important traditional aboriginal fruit, which is, although somewhat tart, highly nutritious and contains twice the vitamin C of an orange. The kernel is also very nutritious but indigenous Australians tended to use this mainly for medicinal purposes. The wood from the slow growing trees was prized for the making of traditional bowls - pitti or coolamons. The Quandong fruit feature heavily in aboriginal mythology across all the desert regions of Australia.

There is nothing yummier than Quandong Pie with cream and ice cream, or Quandong Sauce glazed all over Roast Lamb or Pork. Scones with Quandong jam and cream are delightful, or try serving a Quandong and Chilli dipping sauce with spring rolls or chicken wings. This tasty fruit has such an abundance of uses, the list simply goes on...

Uses: As a fruit in pie, in sauce, as a jam or add a fruity touch to savoury dishes.

Similar to: Stone fruit

Season: Frozen, all year round

Supplied: Frozen

Available to: Outback Pride Fresh food service, Retail

Mike and Gayle Quarmby

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