Editor’s Note: Adventurous traveler and foodie, Krista Bjorn, has to be a little more adventurous than she bargained for on a visit in January to Australia. Doubt this is a recipe she added to her files upon her return home; but now that she’s moved to Australia, who knows? This insight certainly goes beyond what she told us about a few month’s back in Sangers, Dampers and What? !
When the food discovery from your travels, isn’t exactly what you planned.
(Or: How the Australian Floods got me to eat kangaroo.)
I was the typical non-Australian who oohed and aahed over kangaroos hopping along roadsides or past the kitchen window, and thought they were far too cute to eat. In my mind they couldn’t possibly be lumped in with cows, chickens, and fish as providers of sustenance.
But then the floods came to Queensland and I was stranded for five days, eating my way through what food was already in the fridge and pantry. Forget Australian food, we were down to almost nothing. By the time the roads were cleared and the bridges into town fixed, I was ready for fresh fruit and veggies and something besides the ham my friend and I had been noshing on for days.
Alas, while the floods cut us off from town, they also prohibited any food producers from getting their wares from one place to the next. And many of the farms that provided fresh food were now under water.
When we entered the normally bustling and fully stocked market, we were stunned to see the shelves nearly empty. There was no fresh produce save for a few measly bits looking the worse for wear. We foraged for some passable lettuce and managed to get one of the last cartons of milk in the dairy case and the last loaf of bread before heading to the equally empty meat aisle. There was no beef, no chicken, no fish, just a few nicely wrapped packages of kangaroo mince.
It was time to “put on my big girl panties,” as my friend Marie puts it. I grabbed the mince and we headed home, rolling slowly over pitted roads whose pavement had completely washed away.
I looked at the meat on the counter, wondering what you do with kangaroo meat? I decided to treat it like hamburger and make a very North American taco salad. It smelled a bit gamey as I fried it up, but one bite of that succulent meat a few minutes later made me a fan for life.
It tasted like top quality ground steak, lean, meaty and absolutely delicious. My friend and I happily devoured two heaping plates of Kangaroo Taco Salad then sat back to watch the sunset over soggy Australia.
Editor’s note: You can read here for more information about kangaroo meat consumption in Australia (it’s not exactly mainstream, but becoming more so.) This is our second “Cooking Around the World” column. You can read the first about Couscous from Tunisia here.
Now please tell us: What is the strangest meat you’ve ever eaten?