Food and Drink

   

Craft & Co salami making class

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Hello, good friend …

The large warehouse windows. The dimly lighting poking out from the edges of the building onto the cold wet street. The unmistakable blast of warmth as the doors open form the cold. I’m back at The Craft & Co for class number #4957493947 and tonight, I’ll become a master meat curator.

Well, at least I’ll try. My adventures in cheese were novice at best.

This class is being held in the lofty space upstairs, which is somehow always cosy and inviting, despite it being the deepest, darkest part of winter. We can always count on food on offer – this time we are treated to a colossal platter with a selection of rich meats, cheeses and breads. I am literally never going to get sick of coming here.

Our expert meatsmith is key to the experience – she’s buzzing around and introducing herself to everyone, embodying a warm, family like presence, an Italian through and through. No food too fresh, no friend too foreign to be included in the family.

Whilst we’re being educated on how to make all kinds of cured meat tonight, the truth is that it takes nearly four months to dry a good salami – our hopes of having our own to take home for sandwiches tomorrow are dashed. We will, however, be making our own sausages to eat at the end of the evening. She’s keeping us firmly on track to make sure we have plenty of time to prepare, cook and eat.

The process is engrossing, as our hands get dirtier, our minds fuller and our stomachs emptier.

Everyone is encouraged to get their hands in to some degree. We’re taken through all kinds of steps, including the ideal type of meat for the kind of cut we’re producing (dependent on the ration and area), optimum weather to dry salami (dry and cold with no humidity) and how careful we have to be when filling the casings with our freshly ground meat. She’s the perfect mix of energetic and informative, dishing up gems like ‘the seasons and what we eat have to be in sync, seasons welcomed instead of resisted’ and ‘you’re so good at playing with your sausages!’

We’re engaged, happy and very hungry and are luckily soon prompted to head downstairs for our dinner.

We all prop up on the long wooden tables to sample our snags and the buzz from the group is almost tangible as the steaming plates are laid in front of us. The sausages are on top of a buttery diced leek and the smell is intoxicating. Heaping bowls of fries and rocket salads are scattered on the table for the brilliant shared dining experience I’ve come to be very familiar with at Craft.

We’re very nearly finished the first round of sausages when our vibrant host comes bustling in to check on us. The intimate vibe is enhanced as she calls for more sausages to be cooked up so we can continue to enjoy our feast. We ask for more fat fries to go with it, and even though the kitchen appears to be simmering down our request is adhered to.

Another warm, welcoming evening hosted by people who now feel like friends, like family. Without the salami I intended to take home, sure, but a belly full of satisfying sausages and a smile on my face that no take home produce could provide.

The Craft & Co 
390 Smith Street, Collingwood
thecraftandco.com.au


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