Thursday, 20 February 2014


Home Made Smallgoods Competition Lara Food and Wine Festival

The Lara Food and Wine festival is looking for any backyard or small producers of Salami, Prosciutto, Jamon or indeed any naturally fermented smallgoods for the inaugural Hamster of Lara smallgoods competition. Naturally produced smallgoods have been a part of the Australian culinary landscape since the first fleet. Through the different waves of immigration, New Australians, [as we were called before the ‘boat thing’ rocked the nation] have continued family traditions. It began largely in the background below the surface of mainstream food production when food laws were a lot more sensible. All the big players in the current smallgoods market think Tibaldi..Don.. Primo, Marchetti, Bertocchi, Hansa, Barkly to name but a few, started with humble beginnings from immigrants bringing with them rich traditions that have made Australia the diverse culinary haven that we now enjoy. It looked like these traditions were in danger of being lost but the younger generations of these immigrants and their new Skip mates have rekindled a passion to embrace all good food and especially the fine flavours that naturally fermented foods can offer. We have been through the Roquefort saga and can now legally enjoy one of the finest imported raw milk cheeses and the first raw milk cheeses are being made in Australia now but not before some hard guerrilla action from the wild food warriors. Tomorrow Sandor Katz the author of the Art of Fermentation is presenting some lectures in Melbourne link here Fermentation is again in the spotlight Sandor is largely about vegetables and milk but the really difficult one for many to come to terms with is naturally fermented meats.
The handful[ but influential] readers of this blog all know the score but this is a serious call for entries into the competition. The lead time has been short the larders are getting thin but  there are hundreds of busy little Hamsters out there turning, sniffing, tasting and proudly plating up what to those who have been initiated are flavours hard to live without... the problem is many don’t read twitter so Tony Bourdain’s, Matt Preston”s, Sticki, Skinny John,  Mr. Ed and many others’ [thank you troops] call to arms may not get into those cellars as quickly as we might think.  

So please pass this on to any shops [small producers welcome] or indeed anyone who you may know that cures their own. Small factory production is fine. Taste will prevail.
The Lara Food and Wine Festival is a delightful grassroots affair with all volunteer support, even from the big wigs.  I confess two ulterior motives for joining Frank Camorra, Richard Thomas, Rosa Mitchell, Gail Thomas, Ed Charles, Bob Hart, Max? on the tasting panel.
Firstly the pork and Secondly the main prize [$1000 all together] is dedicated to Angel Cardoso who,[mad bastard as he was]  gave quite a bit to the development of good tucker in this country.   
Lara Food and Wine Link HERE
Entry Form Here
Macedon Ranges entries can be left here at Kyneton or I can pick up if you are too busy just email gbironatbigponddotnetdotau for drop off time before 13 March.

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