A Slice of Italy at Home with Salami Day in Melbourne

We recently had our annual weekend of making salami and capocollo with Nancy’s cousins.

This is always a great way to spend a winter weekend; not only do you get to partake in a tradition, but you get to produce something that is hand made and chemical free, while having great conversation and plenty of laughs as the regular “salami” jokes are retold another time.

What follows is a short photo story of how the process and weekend unfolded.

The original recipe for Joe’s cacciatore. This is a “secret” blend of paprika, capsicum sauce, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and salt.

On Saturday, it’s all about mixing the ingredients into the pork to the point where the mixture becomes sticky enough for a small ball to stick to your hand when turned upside down.

The spicy cacciatore Calabrese mixture. 

The simple, but superb mixture for the salami with red wine and black pepper. Probably our favourite!

One of the more important moments of Sunday morning…. a little whisky. I’m not sure how traditional this step is, but we do love it.   

The mixture is turned once again before being inserted into the ‘sausage stuffer’. 

As you can imagine, the jokes do not stop once the serious business of stuffing commences.

There is a delicate balance when it comes to how much you fill a skin. Too much and it’s very hard to tie off, too little and you are wasting the skin.

Each salami undergoes a little acupuncture therapy to ensure that if there are any little air bubbles, they are able to escape. 

Red wine and black pepper salami ready for hanging.

An 814 gram cacciatore. Perfetto.

An experiment to see if we can create the oval shape of a sopressa. 

Damian hanging the salami in the “temperature controlled” garage. Not all garages are ideal for hanging salami so we’re lucky that Phil and Karen have been blessed with a garage that has a really good temperature/humidity balance.

And now we wait…. It takes around five weeks for the salami to cure and eight weeks for the capocollo to drop the required 30% weight. This of course is dependent on the size and conditions. 

After all of the work, it’s now time to eat, drink and celebrate the day.

Good food, good wine and great conversation. It doesn’t get any better.

No salami day is truly complete until you’ve had a home made cannoli or two.

This is one of our favourite winter experiences in Melbourne. While it can be labour intensive, it is one that we love to do. It delivers an abundance of produce that we’re able to share all year with friends and family, and also with our tour guests recently on our local Cycling and Gourmet Escapes. And most importantly it is buonissimo!

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