The Oldest Foods on Earth: A History of Australian Native Foods with Recipes
‘This is a book about Australian food, not the foods that European Australians cooked from ingredients they brought with them, but the flora and fauna that nourished the Aboriginal peoples for over 50,000 years. It is because European Australians have hardly touched these foods for over 200 years that I am writing it.'
We celebrate cultural and culinary diversity, yet shun foods that grew here before white settlers arrived. We love ‘superfoods’ from exotic locations, yet reject those that grow here. We say we revere sustainable local produce, yet ignore Australian native plants and animals that are better for the land than those European ones.
In this, the most important of his books, John Newton boils down these paradoxes by arguing that if you are what you eat, we need to eat different foods: foods that will help to reconcile us with the land and its first inhabitants.
But the tide is turning. European Australians are beginning to accept and relish the flavours of Australia, everything from kangaroo to quandongs, from fresh muntries to the latest addition, magpie goose.
With recipes from chefs such as Peter Gilmore, Maggie Beer and René Redzepi’s sous chef Beau Clugston, and Museums of NSW's Colonial Gastronomer Jacqui Newling, The Oldest Foods on Earth will convince you that this is one food revolution that really matters.
Published June 2016
210mm x 135mm