Livio and Lidia Jurcan migrated from Croatia to Australia in 1974. After a few years, they came to long for some of their native flavours. They started inviting friends around to partake in salami-making days in the backyard. Before long, they were encouraged to expand their home recipes into something more.
The name Istra derives from their homeland of Istria, the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. They started out as a one-room operation in 1996, with the retail space a simple shed. The family worked long hours on Thursdays and Fridays, before opening for weekend sales.
Son Bernard Jurcan then took the reins in 2010. This was supposed to mean retirement for his parents, but most days their unwavering work ethic returns to the fore and they join the production line.
All pork is sourced from Victorian farmers, with the team of 10 processing 5.5 tonnes each week. Istra’s pancetta is hung for three months. The prosciutto takes two years. Recipes for the assortment of mild and spicy salami, chorizo and sausages are informed by tradition and perfected with trial and error over time.
Located in Musk, just a five-minute drive from Daylesford, the no-frills “cellar door” stocks the Istra’s many meaty wonders, along with a hefty selection of European pickles, peppers, krauts and chocolates.
Explore Daylesford further using our detailed Out of Town to Daylesford guide.