Thoughts from the Field: Tasting the Outback

by Meradith Hoddinott

In this second installment of Thoughts from the Field, Josh takes us to Yuendumu, a remote town of a few hundred people in the middle of the Central Australian desert. Often times, the lab’s work in the field is nothing like what they had in mind. What does it mean to go into another culture and ask questions? What are some of the challenges and obstacles in fieldwork? And what are some of the unexpected rewards?

Honey Ants
Voices: Josh Evans, Ben Reade, Andreas Johnsen, Wendy Baarda, Coral Kelake, and Tess Napaljarri Ross
Music: It’s Cold and Beautiful by Magical Mistakes
Field audio from Andreas Johnsen

Bush Coconuts
Voices: Josh Evans, Ben Reade, Andreas Johnsen, and Rahab Spencer
Music: Packaging by Pollen RX and AR AK by Pollen RX
Field audio from Andreas Johnsen

 Honey ant murals adorn the buildings of Yuendumu.


 Flowers of the desert fuschia, miinypa in Warlpiri,  Eremophila gilesii


 Coral Kelake


 Yunkaranyi – the honey ants


IMG_9520.JPG


 Kanta, or bush coconut - galls of the coccid wasp ( Cystococcus pomiformis ) and the bloodwood eucalyptus ( Corymbia terminalis )


IMG_9687.JPG


 carefully opening the kanta


 the yellow mother wasp and pink larvae


 the young adult wasps


Discerning Taste: Deliciousness as an Argument for Entomophagy is a project funded by the Velux Foundation. Through this project, the lab aims to learn from cultures around the world and explore the gastronomic potential of insects. Check out the first installment of Thoughts from the Field.