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Five minutes with Vic Cherikoff

Vic Cherikoff is an authority on Australian indigenous foods, MiNDFOOD reports.

Five minutes with Vic Cherikoff

What triggered your interest in indigenous Australian foods?

Wild foods have been an interest since my high school years, and then working professionally on the nutritional value of foods from across Australia revealed an untapped resource of high-impact flavours, new herbs, spices and functional ingredients of immense value.

What are some of your favourites?

This week it’s riberries, lemon aspen and rainforest lime. Wattleseed is also a favourite, because I’ve just made a frozen fruit dessert and used wattleseed for its amazing chocolate taste.

What’s the most unusual indigenous Australian food you’ve eaten?

The mangrove worm. It’s a very soft, delicate, 2m-long tube worm that you eat by putting one end between your lips and sucking until it disappears down your throat, leaving any shell grit on your lips. It cooks beautifully, creating a milky soup with a little seawater added. I’ve made many mangrove-worm cappuccinos over the years.

What’s the most unusual indigenous Australian food you’ve eaten?

The US has some great Native American foods, as does the Maori culture in New Zealand.

What are your favourite traditional Maori foods?

Horopito, kawakawa, piko piko and the various seaweeds are great.

What’s your food philosophy?

Anyone who loves good food should learn about the different food flavours and how they interact with each other in every dish. They should also understand the influence of colour and texture on good eating.

For more information please visit his website.

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