I don’t know where to begin this tangent… because I have finally made Coastal Pigface Jam! Excited is an understatement.
That means I’m not just a mad coastal scientist / coastal advocate / dune obsessed / passionate beach goer, I can now add ‘native food forager’ and ‘jam maker’ to my LinkedIn.
Hope you are excited as me cause I have since researched more recipes and you can make chutney, syrups and even pickle it, etc.
If you didn’t already know Coastal Pigface is a prominent fore dune species that grows along the eastern seaboard of Australia and in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, let’s just say many coastlines where it’s sandy and salty (I’ve seen it grow out west (the countryside), across Europe and the US too). It is prominent for its pioneering attributes to vegetatively spread like a crawling juicy carpet across the dunes and in the meantime trap windblown sand to help build up the dunes and sustain the beach.
Yet its succulent sand catching abilities are not their only capabilities as it can also be eaten and used for medicinal purposes too.
The leaves can be eaten raw or either cooked like vegetables and are high in Vitamin C. They can also be used similarly to Aloe Vera to relieve inflammation, stings and burns.
The flowers and fruit can be eaten and are quite tasty! Commonly likened to a salty strawberry, fig or kiwi fruit, they can be eaten raw, chopped up and put in salads and even stir-fries. I’ve actually never eaten the skin of the fruit, will give it go next time. You can also make jam, chutney and pickles out of the fruit.
Here’s a recipe I made up based on strawberry jam and having picked 27 Coastal Pigface ‘berries’.
- Wash the fruit under a tap.
- Then place a paper towel on a plate and squeeze the fruit out of from the skin (geez I am bad at explaining this).
- Place fruit in a saucepan and add sugar.
- Squeeze one lemon into the saucepan.
- Add enough water to bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil for a bit, maybe 5 or so minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and cool.
- Taste test once cool.
- Make some toast and then enjoy!