You may not know it but every winter, in garages from Coburg to Reservoir, Melbourne’s Italian families get together to spend a whole day making salami. It’s an age-old tradition and a serious group effort, which – in true Italian style – is always rewarded with a sizeable homemade feast at the end. While not all of us are lucky enough to have been born (or to marry) into a food-loving Italian family, this Sunday’s inaugural Melbourne Salami Festa is a chance for the rest of us to bunk in on some of the fun.

The day’s focus will be a competition whereby a panel of expert, pork-savvy judges – including chefs from Merchant, The Cellar Bar and Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew – will decide which family makes Melbourne’s best salami.

Organiser Marco Finanzio, of Thornbury’s Umberto Espresso, has been making salami with his family for years and reckons it’s a tradition that should be shared, so on the day local families will be on hand to talk-up their techniques and dispense valuable culinary secrets to the genuinely salami-curious.

Admirably, Italians are well known for their ability to turn anything food-related into a damn good time and the day’s mood will indeed be festive, with live music, tastings, demonstrations and a healthy dose of competitive spirit to keep the vibe lively.

The Melbourne Salami Festa runs as Florinian House, 814 High Street, Thornbury, this Sunday September 16 between noon and 4pm.