Six thousand people showed up to last year’s Salami Festa. What started as a community festival celebrating homemade salami is now a full-blown weekend event at the Northcote Town Hall.
Here you’ll meet some really, really fanatical members of Australia’s “saluminati”. Such as Michael Dlask, co-owner of Salumi Australia. He wants you to eat furry meat. He says it makes salami better.
“What does alter the flavour are the types of mould that grow throughout the process. You have some moulds, especially in Melbourne, that by the law you have to wash off your product,” Dlask explains.
But Dlask argues that mould is misunderstood and is necessary in creating the perfect salami. “When we first started I gave some salami to a few select friends whose palate and opinion on flavours I really value,” he says.
“So I called them two days later and said, ‘how did you like it, what did you think about it?’ And they were like ‘ah mate, I’ve been meaning to call you. It had mould on it, so I threw it away!’ And I’m like, ‘do you throw cheese away that has white mould on it?’ It’s just their understanding.
“It made me realise how much work there was to do out there, to push forward the idea that mould is a great thing and is really imperative on salami and [for] fermenting meats.”
You can chat to and learn from producers like Dlask at the festa’s farmers’ market; the Salami Market; demonstrations; and workshops presented by chefs Rosa Mitchell, Nicky Reimar and Jerry Mai and Meatsmith butcher Troy Wheeler.
There’s also the People’s Choice Award, which will require you to eat a lot of salami and vote. Don’t miss the official Procession of the Pig, which involves the parading of a bronze pig sculpture named Giuseppina. It starts at 4pm on Sunday.
The Melbourne Salami Festa is Saturday October 8 from 10am–10pm and Sunday October 9 10am–6pm at Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote.