Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Peanuts grow on Trees

Peanut tree and peanut butter.

An Australian native, this beautiful tree grows anywhere from 6 to 18 meters and is referred to under many different names: peanut tree, monkey nut tree, red fruited Kurrajong, orange fruited Kurrajong and one strange one called Kuman (anyone know the origin of this name?)

Immature fruit pods in September
Ripe fruit showing bright orange pods with the black seeds
  The botanical name is Sterculia quadrifida and is a member of the Malvaceae family which include cotton, hibiscus, okra and cocao. This family has some 200 genera with nearly 2,300 species and the Sterculia genus has some 250 species. The scientific name is taken from Sterculius of Roman mythology, who was the god of manure; this is in reference to the unpleasant aroma of the flowers of this genus (e.g., Sterculia foetida). Yet the seed from these pods are "Bush Tucker" and very similar to normal peanuts and delicious - how dare they name this genus after the God of Manure! The small white flowers are actually lemon scented and no way remind me of manure.

The gum of this tree is also apparently used as a glue and a thickener in cooking (similar to corn flower) while the bark is used by Aboriginal people for basket weaving, fishing lines and the sap to heal wounds. Each pod when open contains about 8 black seeds which can then have the black coating or shell removed and eaten the same way as normal peanuts. Although a lot softer - they are the same when roasted or used to make oil and peanut butter.

New shoots when the pods are still green - September
This particular specimen was fruiting in September - see photos above. The name Kuman is common in North Queensland but there have been terms used to describe the SE Queensland ones as Kuhuna Nut or Klump Nut - not sure where these ones come from?

Homemade Peanut Butter:
  1. Roast approximately one & half cups of raw peanuts (black shell removed) until light brown.
  2. Blend when cool in a blender until smooth.
  3. Serve.
  4. For crunchy just add 1/4 cup lighty blended to recipe above.
I'll call this either Kuhuna Smooth or Klumpy Crunchy! Maybe Dick Smith should look at this for his range of wonderful Australian products! Have a look at the website of Dick Smith Foods and see the Video that was banned for his Australian peanut butter.
Maybe Dick to add this to his range!
And to finish off - if you value Australian values and jobs - please take time to read this great magazine of Dick Smith online.
Click here to read Forbidden Ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant blog, and great post! Really interesting information here, and a great recipe too- I'm a huge fan of peanut butter! I work for a new social blogging site called glipho.com, and was just wondering if you would be interested in sharing your posts there with us? It wouldn't affect your blog in any way, and I know our community would love to read through your work here. Let me know what you think!

    All the best,