Mountain Pepperberry

Mountain Pepperberry

Tasmannia lanceolata

Tasmanian pepper or Mountain pepper is an attractive bush that grows 2-5 metres high and 1-2 metres wide.  It’s deep red stems and glossy leaves make it a beautiful plant for the garden in cooler climates of Australia.  You will find them growing naturally around southern New South Wales in Victoria and Tasmania.

Dried berries make a wonderful substitute for conventional black pepper.

Producing aromatic leaves and small fleshy berries, both of which can be used in cooking as a flavour enhancer. The berries and leaves can be used fresh or dried in cooking and work beautifully with soups, stews marinades and sauces.

The berries and leaves offer amazing health benefits – high levels of antioxidants as well as being high in Vitamin E, calcium, zinc, folate, magnesium, iron and lutein.

Traditionally, used for its antiseptic properties and it’s flavour, Mountain pepper has a long history of use by Indigenous Australians as food and as medicine.

In the Garden

 

The plants prefer a protected position sheltered from frosts, winds and hot afternoon sun.  Being dioecious, you will need to plant a male and female beside each other if you want to be able to grow the berries. A wonderful plant to add to your home edible garden.  Check with your native plant specialist to find out if Mountain pepper will be suitable for your garden.

 

 

 

To purchase MTN – Featuring Mountain Pepperberry & Raspberry click here

Finger Lime

Finger Lime

Finger Lime:

 

Citrus austrasica is a thorny shrub that grows as an understorey plant  and varies in height from 2 to 7 metres tall. It is native to the rainforests of the border ranges of SE Queensland and Northern NSW in Australia.

 

The Fingerlime shrub produces long, cylindrical (or finger) shaped fruit that contain caviar like juice vesicles that burst when chewed creating a mouthwatering sensation on your tastebuds.

Packed full of nutritional benefits, these zingy superfoods are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, E, potassium and folate.  They are also a good source of protein and high in dietary fibre.

Fast gaining popularity in recent years, restaurants and kitchens around Australia and the world are now using the citrus pearls from a Fingerlime as a garnish or flavour enhancer in both savoury and sweet dishes.

A perfect accompaniment used fresh with seafood and many Asian style dishes,  they work particularly well as a garnish or stirred through an ice cold  ETCH Sparkling ZST  yum! 

You can purchase fingerlime fresh when in season or frozen whole or as citrus caviar and also ground into a powder which is ideal for adding to desserts such as ice creams and baking to add extra flavour and nutritional qualities.

Fruiting season is between December and May, with the main period of harvest being generally between March and May depending on the varietal. 

Check with your native plant specialist to find out  if you have a suitable spot in your garden to add a native Australian fingerlime so you can start growing your own.

 

Davidson Plum

Davidson Plum

Davidson Plum:

Davidsonia jerseyana, Davidsonia pruriens, Davidsonia johnsonii,

The Davidson Plum is a rainforest tree species native to Australia. 

The deep dark purple fruits contain a soft juicy pulp with a sharp acidity. The aroma is earthy, reminiscent of fresh beetroot, stewed rhubarb and with only a touch of sweetness. The taste is sour with some astringency or bitterness. Due to this bitterness and low sugar content, the Davidson Plum is often enjoyed in the kitchen made into jams, desserts and sauces balancing the sweet and sour nature.

In our PLM beverage we found blending Davidson Plum with other native Australian fruits and herbs such as Riberry and Strawberry Gum balances out the profile with sweetness and aromatics adding complexity yet dryness on the palate.  The Davidson Plum is the backbone to this flavour.

There are three species of Davidson Plum:

Davidsonia jerseyana is endemic to the Northern Rivers region of NSW and grows naturally from the Tweed to the Brunswick River catchment.

Davidsonia pruriens natural habitat is in North-East Queensland

Davidsonia. johnsonii is endemic to lowland rainforests in north-east New South Wales.

All species have edible fruit and are highly regarded as gourmet bushfood.

From a health perspective the Davidson Plum is a true Aussie superfood.  The fruit are rich in antioxidants with many anthocyanins present (the beneficial plant pigments that give the fruit their deep red, purple or blue hues – also linked to numerous health benefits) as well as potassium, a dairy free source of calcium, lutein (which is important for eye health), vitamin E and Zinc which is beneficial for glowing, healthy skin.

 

Strawberry Gum

Strawberry Gum

Strawberry Gum:

Eucalyptus olida, commonly known as the Strawberry Gum or Forrest Berry herb, is a medium-sized tree from the Myrtaceae family that is endemic to the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.

This native Australian tree has flowers that are cream coloured and highly aromatic leaves with the most exquisite sweet aroma and fruity flavour and has been used by First Nations culture for health and medicinal purposes for many thousands of years.

 

Strawberry Gum leaves are a wonderful source of antioxidants and have antifungal and antibacterial properties, which have been shown to play a role in balancing the gut microflora.

The leaves can be used year round fresh, dried or ground into a powder.  We absolutely love the unique flavour profile of Strawberry Gum and it’s ability to enhance both sweet and savoury flavours.  We find use for it in many dishes in our own home, such as cakes, desserts, jams, sauces and of course beverages.  The ETCH Sparkling PLM features Strawberry Gum along with Davidson Plum and Riberry and it adds to the sweet berry aromatics that this ETCH flavour is famous for.

Eucalyptus olida Strawberry Gum

Why Australian Native Ingredients?

Why Australian Native Ingredients?

Why Australian Native Ingredients?

When conducting our research and development back in 2018 Australia was in the grip of one of our worst droughts in centuries.  At the top of the news cycle was water use, environmental drivers causing the drought such as climate change, and the need for the human race to take action now.

 

Around the same time my Father organised a walk with a local Indigenous man called Lionel Lauch, a Gunditjmara Kirrae Wurrung-Bundjalung man. Lionel is Founder and CEO of an organisation on the Mornington Peninsula called Living Culture. Living Culture provide a doorway to educate people about the importance of keeping Aboriginal culture alive.

Lionel took my father, my brother and I on a guided walk, sharing some of his rich cultural knowledge about the region and the native plants growing where we were walking. He spoke about  nature like it is a supermarket and informed us on some of the many edible plants, leaves and berries that had sustained First Nations people and been utilised as a food source and medicinal source for millennia. I was amazed as I had run along these same tracks for years and was never aware of  the abundance that I was passing.

Lionel Lauch performing a Cleansing ceremony at our launch party in 2019

Native plants are unique because they are perfectly suited to the environment that they belong to. This means that they should survive on local rainfall patterns and in the local soil. Minimising water use, pesticide and herbicide practices in production. Better for the environment, better for the farmer, better for the consumer.

 

From a health and sustenance perspective Native Australian plants are packed with nutritional benefits. Studies have confirmed high levels of vitamins and minerals across different species. In such concentrated quantities that well surpass other introduced fruit and plant species. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, lutein, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, Iron, potassium to name a few. (The concentrations vary depending plant species, we detail those contained within the plants we use on our product pages).

 

For us, this unveiled information sparked an inquiry to investigate the native botanicals that could be used in a beverage and led my wife Andy and I to thinking about the role we could we play as a brand to support a supply chain of change, and raise awareness to consumers.

ETCH Sparkling

ETCH Sparkling beverages are inspired by the native environment

Whilst Andy and I are not Indigenous, we acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, their connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

 

Our native plants have been understood and curated under the custodianship of First Nations people for millennia.

 

Through our learning, our teaching, our purchasing, partnerships and memberships we actively engage in the conversation and action to continue a pathway of shared culture with respect and acknowledgment.

 

Yours in good health,

 

Jason Quin

Co founder ETCH Sparkling

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