That’s an everyday word in Australia, but one that is foreign to many Americans. A mom might say to her child, “Remember to take your tucker box with you!” as her child is running out the door to go to school. The term “tucker box” can be interchanged with the term “lunch box” because the word ”tucker” means “food.”
Bush tucker is food found in the wild, food that is gathered while an Aborigine, or anyone for that matter, is on walkabout, and a walkabout is a journey into the outback, barefoot, with few possessions, often taken alone as a spiritual quest. Walkabout is a subject unto itself and will be the next topic of this blog. For now, it’s back to tucker.
Tucker found in the outback consists mostly of witchety grubs (moth larvae), honey ants (ants that store honey in their abdomen), leaves, blossoms, and little known herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Lizards are also common bush food. Larger game, such as kangaroo, is sometimes eaten, but it’s the smaller meals that have kept Australia’s first inhabitants alive for over 40,000 years. While the menu may not sound appealing, much of it is considered a delicacy. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!…as the saying goes.
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