Recently visited little Calabria in Mildura for the annual Salami making feast.
Here is a photo montage of the process.
Music compliments of bensound.com
Method- 3 days in the making
- Kill the pig
- Using scalding water shave the pig
- Remove guts and peel out intestines
- Cut intestines and remove the bile
- Wash intestines in preparation, as casings for the sausages
- Hang pig over night
- Peel the skin off
- With a sharp knife sculpt out the flesh
- Remove grissle
- Cut up the meat
- Mince the meat
- Spice the meat with chilli flakes, salt, pepper & paprika
- Let it sit overnight
- Fry the meat to check taste and intuitively assess salt content
- Using the sausage machine thread the intestines over the nozzle and carefully fill the intestines, one by one.
- Tie string carefully around each sausage and hang them up
- Add the rest of the meat and bones to the caldron
- Place the skin into the caldron to boil too
- Add all other meat and boil down
- This will form a type of meat loaf
- This is cooked in a pan and eaten over the winter period
- Remove lard and use for cooking
- Lard can also be used to make soap
Brother in law Tim Pump, Aussie bloke conducted the slaughter, unfazed.
“must be a wog!” , the Italian crocodile dundee.
The sausage making process is very hard work, but many hands working together, make a mess.
A very challenging process, the reward of which is enough salami to last for three winters.
Initially the request was one pig as a demonstration project, but the piggery offered two for the price of one and bartered for a share of the salami @ $200.
My family unable to go past a bargain, accepted the generous offer and so two massive maeli equate to a rough 200 kg of meat, works out at $1 per kg.
Here is a lesson in management, a lesson in ethics and possibly a lesson in stamina, for I don’t seem to have any when it comes to handling meat.
At a very practical level, here is a lesson in the internal anatomy, biology of the body according to the pig.
How else does a doctor learn about the body, if not to dissect it- in what way did we learn to make sausages, if we had not seen the intestines in the first place?
The lesson on management is that those who manage (cope, capable, able), have the guts to kill, thus the ability to always find food. Prepared to do the hard work, for the benefit of all.
The agriculturalist, the one who can grow food is also a great lesson in land management and strategic planning- which then requires a calculated thinking process, eventually leading to the harvesting of gifts.
The biggest lesson for me is ethics.
I documented the process of making salami, but the sound of the shot gun tainted my bubble.
For here sits a really interesting dilemma.
Is there need?
Is this a cultural practice we want to keep or continue?
There is a real tension now, between what I believe, and what is the truth.
In the Italy of the 1940s – 50s- this practice was perceived as necessary.
In Australia in 2019 – the tradition has become trendy encouraging the notion of the foodie– within this the competition of who has the better salami and an iconic Italo/Australian practice.