Where were you when the matcha craze started? Do you remember seeing the green powder everywhere, in coffee, tea, and cakes? It’s the superfood that took over the world, and is still in our popular culture now, for its high antioxidant content. So what is a superfood? Superfood is a marketing term that describes food with health benefits resulting from an above-average nutrient density. For instance, bananas are a great source of potassium, and kale contains more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables, which makes them superfoods.
Today, there’s a new superfood joining the category, and it’s grown right here, on Australian soil, in our outback. Kakadu Plum, you might have seen it in drinks, or on menus around Australia. It’s a native ingredient that’s sweet when eaten raw and has the highest recorded natural amount of vitamin C of any food in the world. Just 100g of the fruit provides over 3,000% of your daily needs, according to Healthline.
Enter, Kakadu Plum Co. a social enterprise that celebrates Indigenous culture and traditional Australian bush foods.
“I started Kakadu Plum Co. five years ago when Kakadu Plum was still relatively unheard of. Australians were going offshore for superfoods, and I knew about indigenous bush foods and culture, so I thought we have to have our own superfood growing, somewhere here,” said founder and director, Tahlia Mandie.
“When we launched the company, it just happened to coincide with an international chef who was one of the first to debut Kakadu Plum on his menu. People were fascinated by the addition of “Kakadu Plum dust.” They wanted to know more about it, and where it came from so when we launched our company, we spent the first year educating people.”
According to Mandie, Kakadu Plum only grows once a year, from December to late March in Northern Territory, or December to late February or early March in Western Australia.
“It’s a beautiful time when the plums are in season, we get together and pick the plums in the top end,” says Mandie.
“We pay indigenous communities directly for what they harvest for us and all the plums are wild harvested. There are no farms, we take what we can get from the wild and work with it.”
As for the process of turning the Kakadu plum into a powder, Mandie explains, the plum is promptly frozen after picking, then taken to a factory to be freeze-dried, and milled into a powder. It’s pure plum powder, no additives— not even sugar.
“Why would we use or even add chemicals when we have such a pure, natural product that has its own benefits,” says Mandie.
“People are realising the benefits of natural products. They want to embrace botanicals, as opposed to pharmaceutical chemicals.”
If you’re wondering what you can do with Kakadu Plum powder, you should be asking what can’t you do with it. You can add it to water, smoothies, protein shakes, salads, cereal, yoghurt, and anything else you would have on a daily basis for a healthy dose of vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Kakadu Plum powder is also a great addition to homemade muesli bars, protein balls, jams, and salad dressings. The opportunities are endless.
Kakadu Plum Co. also offers Kakadu Plum and Desert Lime powder, Davidson Plum powder, Desert Lime powder, and several other natural bush food milled into powder.
The demand for natural sources, particularly local sources of nutrients and vitamins is only growing. In Australia, we have access to ancient traditions, used by indigenous communities around the country for hundreds of years.
According to Mandie, demand for native products is dramatically increasing, but she also understands it’s a two-prong approach when it comes to demand for a finite resource.
“We’re grateful to see the demand for Australian grown products, but we also have to protect and nourish the resource, and its connection, history, and authenticity,” says Mandie.
“Protecting native bush foods is deep in our values, and keeping Kakadu Plum wild-harvested is something we’re dedicated to. We understand the demand, but in the end, our job is to ensure we protect the native food industry, as a whole, by injecting money into the communities that we work with, and ensuring the integrity of the product remains intact.”
Kakadu Plum Co. is an online store only, selling teas, powders, chocolates, bush soaps and balms, and many more products made from native bush ingredients.
Renowned as one of the world’s leading beer experiences, GABS brings together the best breweries from Australia and New Zealand for a whirlwind celebration of craft beer, including 117 brand new festival beers brewed exclusively for GABS—you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
GABS packs in 20,000 enthusiasts to the Melbourne edition, yet it is still one the best-kept secrets in Sydney, and with the new owners being local, they want to change that.
This year’s big news is a move from Sydney Olympic Park to the ICC in Darling Harbour and the addition of an early evening Friday session for city-goers.
Whilst there are over 700 taps to choose from, GABS is not only all about the beer. There are wine, gin and whiskey stands and a hefty lineup of activities to accompany all that sipping, too, which will span a silent disco, roaming jazz bands, circus and sideshow performers, games and panels with industry leaders, as well as delicious food options to line your stomach.