Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pig Face and not a Snout in Sight


Carpobrotus glaucescens

Pig Face
Foraging for food always puts a smile on my face and nothing compares to the singular drive to finding that perfect dish to celebrate a native, wild food in our family menu.

So many of our local coastal sand drifts are held together with this delightful succulent that I am quietly facepalming I had not noticed it before last year and begun the process of looking at it as a food source and not just a colourful photo opportunity of bounty and beauty.

This succulent ground running creeper with fleshy leaves and little purple flowers and dark red to purple fruit may be found on  Victorian, South Australian and Tasmanian coastlines. The plump, juicy leaves can be eaten raw or boiled as well as being made into a pickle and have a salty taste that will add a unique flavour to meat dishes, can be added to salads and combines well with mushrooms, eggs and seafoods. You can apply the juice to sandfly bites or make a poultice of crushed leaves to apply to burns and scalds. The Ngaruk willum people of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria used it as a balm to minimise pain.

Pig face Fruits
The fruit, also known as beach bananas, has a sweet taste similar to strawberries, figs, bananas and kiwi with that salt tang making it interesting.

Very little nutritional information seems to be available in this sweet and savoury treat other than to state that on top of it's high sodium level it is a good source of other minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium.



Pig Face Waldorf Salad

Pig Face Waldorf Salad

2 Apples, diced
4 Celery Stems, sliced
1 cup walnut halves
1 tbsp honey
1 cup pig face fruits, pealed

Toss the walnuts in the honey and place in a medium oven for 15 minutes to honey roast the nuts, allow to cool and set aside
Place egg yolks, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a small ceramic bowl. Whisk until well combined.

Add 1/2 cup oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, to egg mixture, whisking constantly until well combined (this will take about 15 minutes). Add remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well combined. Add 2 tablespoons hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly.

Combine the apple, celery and pig face fruits in a bowl and dress generously with the dressing. Roughly chop the walnuts and stir them through and serve.

Pealed Pig Face Fruits

Pig Face Riata

1 cup of natural yogurt
pinch salt

1/2 cup pig face fruits, pealed
1/2 cup cucumber, grated and drained of excess liquid
2 sprigs fresh mint, finely shredded

Combine all ingredients and chill to serve with a curry

Pig Face Riata
Pig Face Riata





Pig face Pickle

Fresh Greens packed tight
1 cup of pig face leaves
1 sprig fennel frond
2 sprigs dill frond
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 small dried red chilli
2 teaspoons salt
2 small bay leaves

fennel seed
1 teaspoon pepper corns

Soak the pig face leaves over night in water.

Place the fresh greens into a clean sterilised jar packing as tightly as possible.

Cook up the vinegar, salt, sugar, bay and spices until the pickling liquid boils and pour over the greens then seal and allow to cool.

Store in the fridge for at least a week and serve with cold meats, cheese platters, in dressings and tartare sauce.

Pig Face Pickle


  1. Sounds like both would be good with curries and other spicy dishes, I am new to Aus so thank you for deciphering the wild edibles.

    1. I have even used these beautiful fruit in a Fijian style pork and fruit curry and it worked really well. Just adjust the salt to allow for the flavour of the fruit to come out

  2. Love Pigface, always just used them as a bush snack, never thought of cooking with them. Will have to give it a whirl...

    1. They are a delightful snack and quite quenching on the beach or served in a champagne cocktail

  3. Pigface also grow in Western Australia, our coastcare group use them for dune regeneration, so not just an east coast delicacy

    1. I have never ventured away from the east coast, but I am glad you have these to indulge in

  4. Thanks I have them growing in my front yard garden beds –one called Aussie Crawler I think. Had not been able to find any recipes and as you mentioned, any nutritional information. Your recipes look great. Will try!

    1. hope you find them as delicious as my family and I do

  5. Thank you for sharing this & also for introducing me to pig face fruit.
    I'm keen to learn more uses for it, to experiment with it now.

    1. you are very welcome. It is a fabulous fruit and plant to get to know

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