The artisan era
Salami isn't seasonal, but it is definitely in. On the weekend, I made my way into Brisbane city to explore the Good Food and Wine Show. While wandering around I made the glorious mistake of entering 'Cheese Alley'. The Bruny Island, Ashgrove and High Valley cheeses stood up to their reputation, but it was the salami's nearby that truly impressed me.
The landjaeger from Barossa Fine Foods, the droewor from Springbok Foods, and the salsiccia sarda from Salumi Australia made me realise how far sausages, salami and the Australian food industry has come. They may be small producers, but that is part of the charm. We've moved on from the days when sausages were made from the ugly pieces nobody else used, and entered an era of artisan production and conscious consumerism.
As one who is quite wary of the horrors hiding within supermarket-bought sausages, I tried a shaving of landjaeger, and was pleasantly surprised. The cured sausage encases a collage of pork meat and specks of fat. The man from the Barossa tells me the intricate details of this sausage's creation, but I phase out while the fat melts away and compliments the subtly sweet, aromatic pork. He cuts a sliver of another cured sausage and hands a piece to everyone crowded around his little booth. Upon the first chew, it is a delicately spiced pork salami. Just as the man says that this sausage has been sweetened with brandy, it hits me. That sweet, fruity aftertaste makes itself welcome and cradles the little pieces of pork meat as I enjoy it a little longer.
There is something special about meeting the people who create the products. You learn about where it all comes from, identify unique touches, and most importantly, you feel this appreciation for food that cannot be pulled out of a vacuum-sealed packet. It's wonderful to see these little producers sharing their work with a marvel-struck crowd.