Thanksgiving on Kangaroo Island

22 Nov

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Australia. Dana and I celebrated with a Thanksgiving dinner of  marron.

Marron is a crustacean that reminds me of a miniature lobster. Marron (Cherax tenuimanus) is native to the southwest of Western Australia and thrives in clean fresh water rivers and purpose-built ponds. They can range in color from jet black to bright blue, some pink to red, all genetic variations. Their traditional color is brown (the french meaning of the word “marron”) or black.

Their taste when boiled, steamed, pickled, stir-fried, baked or barbecued is sweet, subtle, delicate and with a fine texture…more like a crayfish than a lobster.

The Andermel Marron Restaurant on Kangaroo Island is 14 km from a paved road. You have to know how good marron tastes to brave the gravel and the dust. Upon arrival after several exciting sharp turns on ball bearing like gravel, the restaurant looked much like a warehouse. And in fact it is in an industrial warehouse building set on an old farm in the heartland of Kangaroo Island. We were dubious about this much touted meal.

But we settled in and each ordered a different marron dish for our holiday celebration on this bright, sunny 75 degree day.

Dana’s was a steamed marron with a light chili marinade dribbled over the marron and stuffed with rice and a crisp cucumber salad. The marron flavor though subtle came through with the chili a beautiful contrast to the sweet meat of this crustacean.

I ordered marron with a creamy peppercorn and caper sauce on a bed of sweet potatoes and spinach. My dish was less successful as the heavier cream sauce overpowered the delicate flavor of the marron.

Though small, marron claw meat is a treat. Like lobster crackers and  a special tool is provided to dig out every morsel of meat you can find.

We were covered with marron juice, including our shirt fronts, by the end of the meal. It wasn’t traditional turkey but it was delightful on the tongue.


Love, Jill and Dana

8 Responses to “Thanksgiving on Kangaroo Island”

  1. Neil Freer November 23, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    How many of them critters to make a decent single serving, looks like only one?
    All wild caught or do they pond raise them also?
    Are the aborigine people an integral part of the population or still stay separate?

    • Jill November 23, 2012 at 5:34 am #

      We were served three halves which made a nice meal. They are about 10 inches long. They do pond raise them as well as wild caught. The aborigines are accepted fully into Australian society. They do live in villages that tend to be a long way from the cities. Their culture and arts are widely admired here.

  2. Maryl November 23, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Happy (post?) Thanksgiving to you both. Isn’t this also your anniversary? Whatever you’re celebrating, those marrons look delish. Spent the day with the Maxey’s who graciously include us each Thanksgiving for turkey and all the trimmings.

    • Jill November 23, 2012 at 1:23 am #

      What a great place to share Thanksgiving with family. Yes our anniversary is Saturday. We will celebrate our 31 years together. Hard to believe.

  3. David Charboneau November 23, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Sounds excellent! Happy Thanksgiving from Yachats, OR. Game hens over parsnips with roasted brussel sprouts for us.

    • Jill November 23, 2012 at 12:53 am #

      How nice to hear your voice. I heard you were in Oregon on an adventure of your own. Dinner sounds delish. Love to you on Thanksgiving and every day.

  4. Ursula Freer November 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving to you to. You are around a day ahead of us date wise. My daughter made me aware of this as she is vacationing in New Zealand while talking via Skype.

    • Jill November 23, 2012 at 12:04 am #

      I started writing today and then realized Thanksgiving hadn’t happened yet back home. Very fortuitous for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: