Nardoo (the stuff that killed Bourke & Wills)

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 02:16
ThreadID: 70210 Views:4220 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,

Have any of the intrepid bush tucker men & women out there tried to make damper or any type of food from Nardoo?

I am heading to Innamincka next week and keen to try making damper with it, if I can find some on the banks of Cooper Creek.

I would be very greatful to hear from anyone who has attempted this and whether one damper or meal had any ill effects.

For those who haven't heard of it before, Nardoo is a fern that grows on the banks of the Cooper Creek. When Bourke & Wills returned to the Dig Tree from the gulf the local aborigines made a kind of flour out of it and gave it to B&W. This sustained them until the Aborigines moved on. When B&W tried to prepare it they skipped (or weren't aware of) an important step - heating the plant to break down toxins before cooking / eating it. The toxin didn't poison them as such, it stopped the cells in their bodies absorbing energy & nutrients from the food they were eating. They slowly starved even though they were eating enough calories and nutrients.

Any help much appreciated

Ben


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Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 07:34

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 07:34
Ben,
What part of the fern was used ?
Thanks
AnswerID: 372151

Follow Up By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:53

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:53
Hi Grey Nomad,

I have read that the spores are used. Apparently they look like a seed pod.

Unfortunately I don't have photo of the different parts of the plant.

Ben
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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:24

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 09:24
I heard a story on the radio one day by some woman from one of the universities in Melbourne.
They had done DNA test on Wills hair, and found there as virtually no vitamin B in the body.
That was the effect if the ill prepared Nardoo they believe. It depleted the body of vitamin B.

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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AnswerID: 372159

Follow Up By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:54

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:54
Hi Dave,

I think that's right - with all the vitamin b gone, the body cant get the energy from food into the cells. What a way to go - starving to death while getting enough to eat!

cheers

Ben
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:12

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 10:12
Cooking with Nardoo!!!!! Hahahahahaha
Ive always thought a Nardoo was a turd?

Rotflmao
AnswerID: 372166

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:09

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:09
Its got me beat, why anyone would want to go out bush and eat something that killed someone else?
Wouldnt it be better to bring some home and try it a bit closer to a hospital?
Each to their own I suppose.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - ross m (WA) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:13

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:13
Might make a good diet food.
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Follow Up By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:01

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:01
hi Hairy,

I think its an interesting bush tucker, and one with historical significance. It also shows what happens to people who rush in without looking and learning first.

The aborigines survived on it very happily and so did Bourke and Wills while it was being prepared for them. Either they didn't or couldn't pay attention to how it was done because it was B&W's incorrect preparation and consumption of that incorrectly prepared food over a long period that finished them off.

It was just a thought - if someone else had successfully tried it I was keen to give it a go.

cheers

Ben
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Follow Up By: austastar - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:39

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:39
Hmm! sounds like a good way to eat and eat and lose weight.
cheers
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FollowupID: 639539

Reply By: Gramps - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:11

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:11
Here ya go

Nardoo

Regards
AnswerID: 372172

Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:38

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:38
Interesting article Gramps, thanks for the link.

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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Reply By: Member - ross m (WA) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:11

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 11:11
I heard the Aboriginies only eat it as a last resort when food is scarce because it tastes horrible.
I think I saw it on one of the Bush Tucker Man episodes.
Sounds a bit risky to me to be eating that in a remote area
AnswerID: 372173

Reply By: Louie the fly (SA) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:43

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 12:43
Ben, here's a link to Les Hiddins' Facebook page. I'm sure he'd know; you can probably get the info from there. Failing that, Google Les and read the pages that come up.

Man, don't take any risks with your health.

Louie
AnswerID: 372186

Follow Up By: BenDiD - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 21:08

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 21:08
Cheers Louie,

Unless I can find some definitive guide to preparing it, I will take a pass.

cheers

Ben
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Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 02:00

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 02:00
The spores need to be roasted first, then no problem, Burke and Wills didnt pay attention in their cooking 101 and paid the altimate price..

Hope this helps



AnswerID: 372270

Follow Up By: BenDiD - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 12:50

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 12:50
Thanks Blaze,

If I work up the courage to have a go at cooking it, I'll let you all know how I get on.

cheers

Ben

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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 14:40

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 14:40
So if we don't hear anything, should we assume you didn't get the courage, or ... ;)
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Follow Up By: Member - Ron M (NSW) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:18

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:18
Whats wrong with flour and water for making a damper ..
He who experiments in the bush will become a statistic ( ole jungle saying )

Ron
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Follow Up By: BenDiD - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:25

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 17:25
Timbo - no further posts after the 11th (when I am due back) means: (a) I wussed out and am too embarrassed to let the forum know; or (b) I went the way of Burke & Wills!

Ron - I do love my a "regular" damper, although when the missus comes along I cheat and use scone mix. But, loving the story of Burke & Wills and the Dig Tree, and after watching too many re-runs of Bush Tucker Man, I just have to give it a go.

cheeers

Ben
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