Cooking with Boabs in the Kimberley
The fact that Mandy Dietrich accidently gave me a good old slap on the behind when we first met had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with why I enjoyed meeting her so much (…..well, maybe a little…)
Mandy owns and operates a family-run baby boab chutney and preserve company from her own kitchen and boy oh boy does she love her boabs!
Boab in chutney boab in jam.
A marmalised boab to spread on cooked ham.
Sweet boab relish with distinctive smell.
I reckon she has ‘em on cornflakes as well.
Now I know what you’re thinking Taste Master fans, so listen up…
Baby boabs are the seedling stage of the large boab trees found in the Kimberley region of Australia. The seed of the fruit found in pods attached to the tree, it’s planted and then grown for approximately 16 weeks depending on the season. This produces a tuber up to 30cm long, with succulent edible leaves on top (if you’re confused, the tuber’s kinda like a carrot, and you uproot it in the same way).
The boab tubers are extremely versatile, can be eaten raw or cooked and have a crisp, crunchy texture like that of a water chesnut. The leaves have a nutty flavor and can be used in salads or as a garnish. And for you nutritionists out there, they’re high in iron, potassium and fibre. Mandy has about 20 or so large growing containers in her garden where she cultivates these brand new vegetables, takes them to her kitchen, cleans them, peels them, chops them and makes her chutneys. She’s been running her production line for the past 18 months, and the reason I enjoyed meeting her so much is that she absolutely LOVES it!
It’s this kind of enthusiasm that inspires me. It looks like it’s inspired her daughter as well as she recently won “Most Interesting Snack” at the Kununurra Agriculture Show (tangy eggplant dip).
So if you’re in Kununurra picking fruit to extend your working holiday visa (great place to do it) or just cruising through in your 4WD, pop in to Boabs in the Kimberley and say hi to Mandy….just watch out for her bum-slapping hands (…..accident, my ar*e!).
Tips and Tricks
Getting to Kununurra
- Daily flights from Perth via Broome to Kununurra or from Darwin to Kununurra.
Where I Stayed
My Expert Local Guides
- Thanks to Mandy Dietrich of Boabs in the Kimberley.
My Insider Tips
- For the under 30s travelling the world on a working holiday visa, Kununurra offers great seasonal work opportunities.