Enter the Lara salami competition


I hope that grabbed your attention. The Lara Food and Wine Festival is holding an amateur competition for home made Jamon, prosciutto and other smallgoods on 23 March.

If you are not familiar with the history of smallgoods in Melbourne, Lara looms large over all those making small goods today. The town’s Angel Cardoso was famous for his smallgoods but sadly was shut down by the food police – the same ones that prevent having more unpasteurized cheese.

Angel died in March 2013 at the age of 78 having arrived in Australia in 1962. George Biron says Angel gained a reputation as the maker of Australia’s finest Spanish-style smallgoods, including jamon serrano hams, salamis and chorizo sausages.

The Lara Food and Wine Festival’s aim is to hold an annual competition to judge the best home made and naturally cured smallgoods to honour, remember Angelo.

Judges include food writer Richard Cornish, MoVida’s Frank Camorra, Rosa Mitchell, cheese mastro Richard Thomas and others including myself.

Prizes are $500 $300 $200 and a perpetual trophy for overall winner.

You can read more about it here.

One Dualit toaster. Loved by owner. Despised by girlfriend.


The answer to whether one should love or hate the Dualit toaster is a debate about toast. Are you the kind of person that wants light brown and, in my view, limp toast? Or do you want dark browned, crisp toast – the kind of toast your maiden aunt told you put curls on your head?

Are you a food pornographer from the 1990s? Or a locavore and a minimalist?

I guess I’m all of the above. To me there’s nothing like the crunch of well done toast to keep the teeth and gums healthy and to keep the smoke alarm alert.

Pretty soon after the Dualit arriving at my place, courtesy of some online shopping arbitrage to avoid the local retailer rort, the batteries were ripped out the smoke alarm.

Toast was dark brown to black. The ceiling was stained. But who cared? I had a design classic in my kitchen.

It was a bit like having a Phillippe Stark Juicy Salif orange juice squeezer, you know – the one that drizzles juice everywhere around and including the vessel in which you have positioning underneath it.

The Dualit isn’t quite as useless at the Phillippe, though a moment of lost concentration and the contents are up in smoke.

Everything about the Dualit symbolised a new life in Collingwood. It wasn’t quite style over substance, but certainly looked in place in my monochrome apartment, a whole floor of a small ‘d’ grade office on disfunctional and temperamental Smith Street.

And now, having moved back south to the bright side, I’m parting with a design classic on ebay.

I’m being forced to swap to something with a microchip, which still can burn toast, rather than something operating with a simple electromechanical timer and lever mechanism.

The Dualit is a beautiful object, a design classic dating back to the 1950s.

It is easy to repair and will last beyond most lifetimes.

So go on, throw caution and perfect light brown toast to the wind and bid for this used and loved machine. And bring a bit of food porn into your life.

PS: If you check out my other ebay listings I have replica Arne Jacobson table and Eames dining chairs for sale too plus a Whirlpool fridge and more.