Those of you who regularly listen to my segment on FBi radio are probably aware that I'm reasonably obsessed with pork in all its forms. From a loin roast to pancetta, bacon, lardo and ham, it's all about the pink stuff.
Unfortunately, many people don't realise that over 80% of ham products sold in Australia comes from frozen, imported pig, flown in from places like Denmark where the ethics of farming pig is a lot less stringent than here at home.
This Australia Ham Week, (yes, like bacon, there's a whole week devoted to it), from July 3-8, if you decide to ham it up, look for the square pink Australian pork sticker below, so you know it's true blue, er pink.
To celebrate ham week, here are a couple of places you should check out:
1. The Cafe: Gnome
No not 'Noma', 'Gnome'. This Surry Hills cafe is steadily gaining popularity for its cracking coffees and substantial sandwiches. Last we checked, they do a freshly baked baguette, filled with leg ham, boiled egg, pickles, rocket and cheddar. Yum.
536 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9332 3191
2. The Deli - Olympic Deli
Worth visiting if it's not your local, Olympic Deli really is a winner when it comes to their awesome selection of deli goods, many of which they smoke and cure themselves right there in the store. Somewhat hidden away between a series of Vietnamese grocery stores in Old Bankstown Square, its a truly family owned and run business, first with Peter and now his daughter Joanne Karpouzis. Sausages and hams are made in the old European way, but you can be guaranteed the pork is freshly (and proudly) Australia. Don't leave without a string of Greek Cypriot red wine sausages...and the ham!
Shop 41 Old Town Centre
3. The Butcher - Stapleton's Meats
Ok, so it's in The Shire, but if you happen to be down south, head to Stapleton's Meats. Arguably Sydney's oldest butcher (it's been here since 1896), they're part of a dying breed of proper butchers who actually know how to carve a carcas, stuff a sausage and evidently make a great ham. They're the NSW winners for their boneless ham at 2011's recent Australian Ham Week judging.
71 Gymea Bay Road