Nothing comes for free. Except for "street rosemary".
If you know, you know. If you don't know, take a journey through Guardian journalist Calla Wahlquist's recent Twitter thread that reveals that much of Australia actually isn't paying anything for the Mediterranean herb.
Boyfriend is cooking. He would like rosemary. I do not have any. He is asking if I know of any “street rosemary” nearby.— Calla Wahlquist (@callapilla) August 9, 2020
“I get all my rosemary from the street.”
Street rosemary, as the thread explains, is those big unwieldy bushes you often find growing out of a neighbour's fence or on the footpath. They are thriving and bountiful, which means it seems we have tacitly agreed as a society that it's OK to steal a few sprigs for your roast dinner.
We are the suppliers of street rosemary in our neighbourhood - we planted a bush when we moved here a dozen years ago - now neighbours far and wide pop over to grab some for cooking.— D'Hawk🏳️🌈 Dimity Hawkins AM (@DimityHawkins) August 9, 2020
Not sure if u are supposed to steal the war memorial rosemary @benraue— Patrick Keneally (@patrickkeneally) August 9, 2020
I picked some street rosemary for some roast vegetables last night. Straight out of someone's front garden. You've always gotta be aware of the closest street rosemary.— Mat (@crowinstability) August 9, 2020
Before you come at us with your morals and ethics and pitchforks, beloved foodie celebs have also endorsed street rosemary thievery. Stephanie Alexander recommends plucking a few sprigs from neighbours' bushes in one of her cookbooks.
Our front hedge is a frequently tapped street rosemary source, a Stephanie Alexander endorsed resource. pic.twitter.com/0uBnjY5J0c— Benjamin Millar (@BenjaminMillar) August 10, 2020
In May, comedian Nat from viral YouTube show Nat's What I Reckon also suggests stealing a few sprigs in his Wham Bam Thank You Lamb video, and then went on to create a whole video on more reasons to steal rosemary in his The Rosemary Retrospective video.
Responses to Wahlquist's thread also detailed other complimentary items often foraged in the suburbs, including "street lemons", "street bay" and "street curry leaves", with many owners of the rosemary bushes saying they were happy for people to pilfer what they need.
This is my front fence. You could call me a street rosemary dealer... pic.twitter.com/0cyKcKQMWw— Prof Natalie A Sims (@NatalieASims) August 9, 2020
So on your next daily dose of fresh air, go for a walk around your neighbourhood (five kilometres only for you Victorians) and scout out a few rosemary dealers for future stews, roasts and focaccias. Click here for 20 ways to use your stolen sprigs.
I grow my own rosemary but I have the closest 3 bay trees marked on Google maps, and harvest leaves regularly.— Ali Haberfield (@alihaberfield) August 9, 2020
Hot tip - a lot of Maccas use rosemary as hedging....a thorough wash required before using!— politicallyincorrect (@savagethypolli) August 9, 2020
I’m going on ABC Tasmania in a minute to talk about this. My boyfriend has never won an argument so decisively. https://t.co/0ECSEAx1Cp— Calla Wahlquist (@callapilla) August 10, 2020