Word on the street is you shouldn't be paying for rosemary

Rosemary is overpriced, go for a walk and flog some, says Nat's What I Reckon (with much more swearing).
Rosemary is overpriced, go for a walk and flog some, says Nat's What I Reckon (with much more swearing). Photo: YOUTUBE

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.

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.

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. 


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.

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.