‘Eating the sound of bamboo’

From left: Bendigo Bank's Kym Sheppard, Big Heart Bamboo's Becky Nary-Dart and Eumundi chamber's vice-president Cindy Suters. Picture: Bullet Photography

An innovative new company based on edible bamboo has won the 2019 Eumundi Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Award, including a cash prize sponsored by the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Presented at a sparkling evening ceremony at Eumundi Square, the Eumundi Business Awards celebrated the thriving local business culture that has developed in the 4562 postcode area.

Big Heart Bamboo, a new player in the “future foods” marketplace, offers a range of gourmet bamboo condiments that includes pickles, relishes, chutneys and toppings, as well as supplying prime fresh bamboo shoots to such leading restaurants as Wasabi and Donna Chang.

Becky Nary-Dart, owner-operator of Big Heart Bamboo, says that working on her father’s Bamboo Australia plantation coupled with her UQ degree in Applied Science inspired her to take bamboo into the kitchen for some serious research.

“Bamboo has a wonderful nutritional profile and its exquisitely delicate flavour begs to be explored and enhanced,” she says.

“It adapts willingly to other flavours and textures without losing its own fragrance and crunch; the Japanese refer to it as ‘eating the sound of bamboo’.”

Becky’s extensive study research alerted her to the fact that bamboo has many other aspects to commend it, being a readily-renewable crop that requires no pesticides, only minimal organic fertilisers and being able to sequester one-and-a-half times the amount of carbon dioxide as an equivalent acreage of broadleaf forest.

The market has responded enthusiastically to the new products, with queries and orders coming from local shops and restaurants, interstate and overseas.

“It’s an honour to carry forward the foresight and hard work my father has put into developing one of Australia’s major new crops,” she says.

“Receiving this Award from the Eumundi Chamber of Commerce is a heart-warming and significant recognition of all that’s been invested in getting Big Heart Bamboo to where it is now -and it’s a great encouragement to continue developing new products and new markets.”

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