Kitted out in a white coat, matching hair net and gum boots the size of submarines I entered into the cold chamber where the magic behind the award winning Salumi Australia products are made. The stuff of dreams or nightmares (depending on your perspective of seeing pork as part of a pig rather than just portioned in Styrofoam), the craft of creating these products has a lot more to do with following old traditions, sourcing the best locally, and having a great team.
Putting down the cutting knife, Founder Massimiliano Scalas (or better known as Massimo) and co-owner Michael Dlask took five minutes to talk about the local area, Massimo’s grandmother and developing Salumi’s premium Australian produced small goods…
What made you start Salumi Australia?
MS – I couldn’t find anything in the market that was very good or that I liked, there was a lot of product but the quality wasn’t there, so I thought why not give it a go. We used some recipes from my Grandmother and went from there.
Where do you source your pork?
MD – Our pork is 100% local Australian Pork originating from growers such as Bangalow Sweet Pork Co and Byron Bay Pork Co
Why do you use locally sourced pork?
MD – To support the local economy and the local farmers, and to reduce the food miles. The pigs we use are some of the best in the world and they are hormone and antibiotic free with no artificial flavourings added.
What makes you come into work each day?
MS – Many people enjoy what we make and it’s a challenge. We get really good feedback from Italians and also Australians.
We also have a great team that make it nice to come to work each morning.
How do you develop new products?
MD – We have a tasting room where we have a meeting every week, go through the products we already have and make sure they’re at a consistent level, if not better. And then we brainstorm new products that either come down through Massimiliano’s family through generations or look at new ones like crocodile and camel.
We listen to people we meet like our friends Shaun and Tessa from Mt Warning Spring Water, they have an interest within the area and the local indigenous people and they recognized a market for crocodile.
Why do you continue to use traditional techniques?
MS – This is what we used to do back in Sardinia. We want the consumer to taste the true flavors of the meat. It’s the best way to develop the flavours, like a good wine…
MD – The more salt, preservatives and additives you put in the product, it takes away from the meat.
It’s about creating the old school flavor with quite a new school facility – creating the hills of Italy in these little rooms. The climate in Australia isn’t good for aging meat so everything needs to be temperature and humidity controlled to achieve that traditional flavor.
We love your products and you guys are quite partial to our beers, if someone was looking to have both together what would you suggest Michael?
The Bottarga Di Muggine which is dried, pressed and salted mullet roe balanced with the fruity flavor of Pacific Ale.
Stone & Wood’s Lager (my favourite) with its subtle hops and full malt would go nicely with our Salsiccia Sarda Piccante – a Sardinian style dry sausage with a course grind and mild chilli.
Our Bresaola – air dried and aged beef cured with juniper berries and bay leaves would wash down well with 500ml of the spicy and bitter Jasper Ale.
To check out where you can buy Salumi products from, as well as more information on their products, head to www.salumi.com.au