NATIVE PLANT: Fiona Walker says lemon myrtle leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking.
NATIVE PLANT: Fiona Walker says lemon myrtle leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking. Mike Knott BUN300916MYRTLE12

Fancy lemon myrtle in your beer? Bundy's new superfood

FIONA Walker started growing lemon myrtle three years ago for its beautiful bursts of flowers and green foliage.

But the Bundaberg grower is discovering the plant has a whole lot more to offer.

"It has got a lot of potential,” she said.

"It's been named a new superfood with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

"I think there's a lot of room for it to grow.”

NATIVE PLANT: Fiona Walker with locally grown Lemon Myrtle. The leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking that special sweet or savoury dish.
NATIVE PLANT: Fiona Walker with locally grown Lemon Myrtle. The leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking that special sweet or savoury dish. Mike Knott BUN300916MYRTLE1

Walker has just returned from Junipalooza, a gin festival in Melbourne where she has met potential clients - in addition to award-winning Melbourne distillery Four Pillars and Bundaberg's own Waterview, who infuse Flavours of Bundaberg lemon myrtle in their high-end drops.

"My daughter had a stall at Flavours of Bundaberg two years ago and I took along some samples,” she said.

"It went really well so I just kept making it, people came to me, and it grew from there.”

MEXICAN STYLE: Bargara Brewing Co's Sombrero Cerveza featuring Flavours of Bundaberg lemon myrtle.
MEXICAN STYLE: Bargara Brewing Co's Sombrero Cerveza featuring Flavours of Bundaberg lemon myrtle. Contributed

Bundaberg gourmet hubs Alowishus Delicious and Nana's Pantry have both created sorbet and gelato infused with lemon myrtle, and this month Walker had her first beer in 35 years, the product of a collaboration with Bargara Brewing.

Head brewer Andrew Clark said the Sombrero Cerveza was a light Mexican-style beer a la Corona, "but instead of putting a lime in the top, we've infused it with lemon myrtle”.

"My workers always put a bit of leaf in their beer in the afternoons - that's how it started,” Walker said.

Both agree the local agricultural community is ripe for collaboration.

Beyond food, Walker has also made insect repellent and shampoos for pets and creams for both pets and humans under the brand Native Magic, with lemon myrtle's soothing properties.

NATIVE PLANT: Locally grown Lemon Myrtle products. The leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking that special sweet or savoury dish.
NATIVE PLANT: Locally grown Lemon Myrtle products. The leaves provide a great source of lemon flavour for cooking that special sweet or savoury dish. Mike Knott BUN300916MYRTLE6

Her next project?

"I'm hoping to team up with local farmers to produce a line of Bundaberg teas -starting with Bundy Limes,” she said.


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