An Exotic Spice from the
Land Down Under


By Liz Warton

You may not have heard of this peculiar sounding ingredient, but it is starting to appear on both savory and sweet menus in the U.S. Chef Ryan Butler of Tocqueville uses wattleseed to add a smoky flavor to a classic cheesecake. Vosges Haut Chocolat features ice cream as well chocolate truffles with wattleseed essence. Dining Downunder Chefs Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie use the spice in their traditional Australian cuisine. With a rich and nutty taste, this seasoning complements a variety of meats, sauces and desserts.
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Ribeye Steak with Broccolini, Shiitake mushrooms and Wattleseed Jus
Chef Benjamin Christie of Dining Downunder
Wattleseed Pavlova with a Fruit Coulis
Chef Vic Cherikoff of Dining Downunder
Wattleseed Cheesecake
Pastry Chef Ryan Butler of Tocqueville - New York, NY


Wattleseed as a Ground Spice on StarChefs.com

Wattleseed as a Ground Spice

Wattleseed has evolved from an ancient food source to a distinctive flavor often featured in authentic Australian dishes. Harvested by the Australian Aborigines 6,000 years ago, seeds from the wattle plant were sought out as a versatile and nutritious addition to their diet. Though the plant is a member of the traditionally poisonous Acacia species, the Aborigines discovered over forty different edible varieties. The green pods were eaten raw or dried and milled into flour for baking.

Today, the seeds are dried, roasted, and crushed to create extracts and grounds used in cooking and espresso. The flavor, reminiscent of hazelnuts and chocolate with hints of coffee, makes wattleseed an ideal seasoning for ice creams, nut butters, sauces and coffee beverages. With a low glycemic index and high protein content, wattleseed is also an excellent candidate for low fat, healthy cuisine. Wattleseed is available online as an extract and a ground spice.

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   Published: June 2006