Rahul Sharma

Australian Aboriginal sweet foods

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Australian Aboriginal sweet foods
Similar  Tetragonula carbonaria, Trigona hockingsi, Bush coconut, Stingless bee, Marsdenia australis

Australian Aborigines had many ways to source sweet foods. The four main types of sweet foods gathered – apart from ripe fruit – were:


  • honey from ants and bees (sugarbag, see below)
  • leaf scale (honeydew – lerps)
  • tree sap
  • flower nectar
  • In some parts of Australia, these customs are still used today, particularly in Central Australia. Foods collected can be eaten directly as a sweet or made into a sweet drink.

    Arrernte sweet foods and drinks

    The Arrernte of Central Australia divide their food up into a number of groups. Many other groups also do this or did this traditionally. The Arrernte word for sweet foods is Ngkwarle — honey-like foods.

    Some Aboriginal people who still have their language often refer to alcohol by this sweet food group term.

    Other sweet foods and drinks

    The practices of the Arrernte were widely practised by many other groups across Australia. But customs varied depending on where people lived. Some notable other sweet foods include:

  • Banksia: People placed the flower spike in a paperbark-lined hole filled with water to make a sweet drink.
  • Grevillea: Nectar shaken and eaten, or mixed with water to make a sweet drink.
  • Xanthorrhoea: Sweet drink from nectar by soaking in water.
  • References

    Australian Aboriginal sweet foods Wikipedia

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