Friends in food! For all my years in kitchens, never being able to find the time, space and energy to pursue some of the oldest food traditions was often a frustration, and indeed an envy. In the depths of winter you heard of the preparations and stories from others as they readied for the annual salami production and I hungered to be involved. Perhaps three seasons ago, we were invited by friends to take part, over whatever part of the day I could manage. It was every bit of the fun I thought it would be and the level of interest and learning has increased forthwith.
The host and leader of our crew, named "North Street Salami Party", has spent many hours reading and researching, sharing his thoughts, considering the detail, and each year he pushes the holy grail of salami just a little further out. We have learnt so much and the quest for a great product burns bright. This past year we feel quietly pleased about several things, we have honoured the two large pigs, ensuring that we used every possible piece. We have produced coppa, pancetta, five styles of Italian salami, French saucisson, Spanish chorizo and kabana! While it is still to soon to see all of our results the saucisson and chorizo are complete and there are smiles all round! Much hard work, many laughs along the way, and a real reward at the end. Without feeling too cocky, but certainly prepared and ready for some constructive feedback North Street Salami Party will lodge some entries in the North vs South Salami contest running in the King Valley, late August/early September. Will it be North, will it be South, will it be the bastardo entrant? We look forward to seeing ours judged and having a look over the many other salami styles put forward.
I'll post a resulting update in September!
WE WON! Well we didn't enter the King Valley competition as we didn't feel the requested quantity plus the entry fee equated to a fair situation so instead we entered the local Albury Club competition which took place on 28 October. What a great day, we saw other entries, heard other processes and took home the perpetual cup! Proud indeed! Needless to say the challengers are already staking their claim on next year but we feel pretty pleased with the results for this year, we have learnt, again, we've progressed and the salami tastes great!