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.

melbournesalamifesta.com