What a huge foodies weekend: making salami on Saturday & Truffle hunting on Sunday! Both first time experiences for Josef & Ande.
DAY 1 – SALAMI MAKING:
The weekend started at Joe & Silvana’s East Brunswick house to learn how the Italians make Salami & fresh sausages. With 40 kgs of quality shoulder pork, female pig of course, we started mincing and preparing four kinds of Salami. The spicy red chilli and roasted paprika paste and the mild fennel seed with white wine & cracked pepper were my two favourites.
It was a great team effort with Joe, Linas, Tommy & Paul mincing, filling the various flavoured salamis. Silvanna and the all girl power team weighed and tagged each batch ready to be hung in the garage until spring. Apparently the reason for weighing the freshly filled salamis helps determine when they are ready to eat ; that is, once they have reduced in weight by 30% in 3-4 months.
Ande the “Vegatarian” wasn’t too interested in taking part but did join for a magnificent dinner at 7pm. Hosts Joe & Silvana prepared a classical Italian banquet of Beef Ragout Pasta, Cavalo Nero Pasta, with amazing salads by Julie, the day finished with classic cheeses & Ande’s signature European style cherry cake. The stand out amongst the many wines consumed was a Balgownie 1990 Cabernet and its younger sister the 2000 Cabernet. (from Joe’s cellar)
DAY 2 TRUFFLE HUNTING:
Next day we are off on a truffle hunt. The aptly named “Truffle Shuffle” was and event hosted by The Black Cat Trufferie near Creswick. On a brilliant crisp Sunday morning we arrived eager to explore and learn about Truffles. The day was an amazing experience starting with coffee and cake in the newly purpose built Truffle shed. We were welcomed by Lynette and Andres husband and wife team who both provided us with a wealth of knowledge as we wandered the rows of Oak trees. Ella the truffle hunting dog was spot on in locating the sites of what proved to be a very fruitful day of truffle finds.
The afternoon was complete having a truly enjoyable degustation truffle lunch at and accompanying wines! Journeying home Josef and I were very excited imagining the meal we would prepare for friends at a forthcoming dinner party with a truffle theme. Out little truffle purchase, some mushroom compost and a big bag of locally grown fresh potatoes ensured we took some of the country home with us to continue the fabulous experience.