Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
03. Jan, 2011
Growing up on a dairy farm in Gippsland, Jess Sissons was introduced to free-range produce from an early age, and never kicked the habit. Moving to Melbourne and working in a number of delis she noticed an increasing demand for free-range meats and decided, with her partner Tim Merrit, to open Bezela, Australia’s first free-range deli.
With quotes extolling the virtues of animal liberty lining the walls, Bezela isn’t your average deli. There’s a wooden box where you can pick your own eggs (free-ranges, of course) home-made shortbread and a selection of take-away meals made fresh daily, including Andalusian Lamb, Chorizo and Red Lentil Stew and Vegetable Penang. Local and international cheeses include Dorset Cheddar, Ash Pecorina and a Raw Milk Fontina.
But the meats are the star attraction here, and deservedly so. Sourcing much of their produce from the Barossa Valley, Jess and Tim have created a lip-smacking smorgasbord of smoked and cured meats, from Kangaroo Salami and Wagyu Roast Beef to a salty, sublime Jamon Iberico. Don’t leave without sampling the indulgent Duck Galliture, a debonded duck stuffed with chicken, pork and peppercorns.
With its inventive range of free-range options and friendly service, Bezela is a welcome addition to Melbourne’s deli circuit.
And the name? Bezela was Jess’ pet cow.
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