Don Meats Great Salamis of the World Lunch

by April@MyFoodTrail on September 28, 2009

in Food Events

The cool presentation of the invite

Thanks to Nuffnang, I was invited along with 4 other foodbloggers, Iron Chef Shellie, Jeroxie, Adrian and Sarah to a lunch hosted by Don Meats to learn more about salami from Fleischmeister (pronounced fly-sh-my-ster) Gerhard Feiner. Fleischmeister is a German word for ‘meat master’, a title which can only be earned after lengthy training in Europe. Matt Preston, a salami enthusiast himself, was presenting along side Gerhard.

Presentation by Gerhard Feiner & Matt Preston

Fleischmeisters select the right cuts of the finest Australian meat, which is then chopped, diced and blended with hand selected traditional spices. Gerhard mentioned that white pepper, black pepper and garlic are the spices present in any salami, then other spices are added to make the different varieties of salami.

Different types of salami

The salami is hung for curing and then wood-smoked for several days, adding complexity and intensity to the flavour. The salami then remains hanging to mature for up to 40 days before the Fleischmeister approves its release. The salami loses 30% of its weight during the curing process and loses further weight while it is hanging to mature. With a single squeeze, the Fleishmeisters can tell whether the salami has reached perfection. Everyone had a good laugh when Gerhard likened good salami to a 17 year old girl’s leg! Well at least it was a girl’s leg, not something else and at least she was 17! Hehe! 😛

Gerhard Feiner with the white Hungarian salami

DON’s range of salami is made up of traditional salami, white Hungarian, hot Hungarian, Danish salami and pepperoni salami. They come in pre-sliced packs or whole ‘mini’ rolls, a small sized version of the large rolls you see at your local deli.

Don Products – Is Don, Is Good!

The traditional salami is a mild European style characterised by subtle spices and carefully crafted from a traditional recipe. White Hungarian salami is crafted with a blend of aromatic spices from recipes handed down by traditional Hungarian craftsman. The Hot Hungarian follows the same base recipe as the White Hungarian with the addition of birds eye chilli. The Danish salami is based on an age old style originating from Denmark where it is wood smoked which creates more delicate flavours than southern European salami. Pepperoni was popularised in the US as an Italian style pizza salami where a fine blend of spices and chilli provides tartness and leaves the palate heat filled and dry.

Gerhard Feiner & Matt Preston

What is a lunch without the food and there was a lot of food! We started off with two canapés – the first was Don White Hungarian Salami, chardonnay vinegar, citrus olive oil, fresh mint and basil fire roasted capsicums. The second was oysters with julienne Don chorizo, sautéed and tossed with champagne vinaigrette.

Canapés of salami & oysters

Entrée was an antipasto featuring Don White Hungarian, Don Hot Hungarian, Don Danish and Don Pepperoni. It was a large entrée with an abundance of grilled vegetables, pickled mushrooms, a frittata, olive, prosciutto wrapped mozzarella, pesto and grissini as well as the different types of salami. It would have been nice if there were some kind of markers letting us know which salami was which!

Antipasto with Don White Hungarian, Don Hot Hungarian, Don Danish & Don Pepperoni

Mains were served alternately. One was an Angus fillet of beef with Don Chorizo and apple rosti and red wine jus and the other was a pan roasted barramundi with roasted beetroot and beer cream with Don Chilli Cheese Kabana chips. I got the fish, but I swapped some of my fish for some of Iron Chef Shellie’s beef. I loved the beer cream sauce that accompanied the fish.

Pan roasted barramundi with roasted beetroot & beer cream with Don Chilli Cheese Kabana chips

Angus fillet of beef with Don Chorizo & apple rosti & red wine jus

Dessert didn’t come with any Don products, though I would have loved to see how the chef could incorporate meat into a dessert! Dessert was also served alternately and I was eyeing off the sticky date pudding, but I was delivered the sage and honey panacotta. Jeroxie got the sticky date pudding and happily swapped with me! The sticky date pudding was the perfect way to end the lunch!

Sage & honey panacotta with candied sweet potato

Sticky date pudding

The delicious menu was put together by the Don Corporate Chef, Adam Moore. A surprise guest was Paul Mercurio.

Paul Mercurio & Adam Moore

Matt Preston sat amongst the foodbloggers (though unintentionally!) and was lovely to talk to. He was even giving Adrian a hand in food styling the dessert for photographs!

Adrian & Matt Preston hi-five after a successful food photo!

Matt Preston

We were also given a bag of Don goodies to take home, which hubby was happy to claim for himself since he missed out on the lunch!

Don goodies

Check out Iron Chef Shellie & Adrian’s review of the lunch too.

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie September 29, 2009 at 12:25 am

Wow! AWESOME effort posting this tonight!!

A fantastic post too. All of those notes you took came in handy =)

Excellent photos too!

Oh, the whole thing was just a salami triumph! 😛

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OohLookBel September 29, 2009 at 10:26 am

Matt Preston and salami – *swoon*. You are a lucky girl!

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Dave - Nuffnang September 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

Sounds like it was a great event. The food looks divine and it's making me crave for salami for lunch! 🙂

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sarah September 29, 2009 at 11:01 am

my boy is obsessed with salami! One of his favourite dishes is a salami and tomato risotto, or pizza with salami, or pasta with… you get the idea! Sounds like a great meal you had!

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Jeroxie @ Addictive & Consuming September 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Awesome! It was great to see everyone and enjoy and learn about Salami. I am sure we had a great time. And Matt Preston is a charmer. Loved his shoes!

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Sounds like a great day! I've often wondered what makes the types of salamis different to each other (but, typically, never actually followed up on this wondering with any actual research!)

Thanks for the explanations, I feel much more salami-knowledgeable 😀

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Twin Palates September 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Excellent review – I felt as if I was sitting next to Matt! You must have been annoying like a paparazzi wanna-be 😉 Matt looks really flexible in his solo shot – is that his own leg or someone elses?
Loved that you got a gift pack – it would have been great to get some Iberian ham or even some Serrano. Questions on Barcelona and Iberian ham will all be answered very soon! Watch this space

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Jo September 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Who wouldn't love salami after that! Great photos Rilsta – seems your lens is in fine form after being fixed.

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Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm

WOW – totally drool worthy.
YUMMmmmm. . . .

Talk about being Donalicious!

Wish I was there too.

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spatulaspoonandsaturday September 29, 2009 at 8:34 pm

gorgeous photos!

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Betty @ The Hungry Girl September 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Ooh wow, lucky you! Look at that sexy preston! Pretty cool that he came and sat with you guys!

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Adrian @ Food Rehab September 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

It was a great event huh?! And was also great to finally meet you guys.

I just managed to finish my post. I've been waiting for youtube to upload the videos I did of the event. But hey, it's worth it, that way, we can savor the taste of the many salamis we devoured!

Like a pack of groupies we caused such commotion! *not mentioning any names….* I've posted our group photo and have also linked your post.

Keep eating! Let me know when you review Ben K.

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Rilsta September 30, 2009 at 10:21 am

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: Thanks! These kind of posts take so long to write because you have to filter through the mountains of photos to choose the best ones! It was a salami triumph!

Hi Belle: LOL! Matt Preston & salami is a tough choice!

Hi Dave: It was a great event! Thanks again.

Hi Sarah: Ooh, he would have loved this event. There was a lot of salami!

Hi Penny: I know, how cool were Matt Preston's shoes! I'm bummed I didn't get a better shot of it in my last photo of him!

Hi Conor: No worries! I have often wondered that myself, but I guess it is one of those things you never bother to find out!

Hi Twin Palate: There were official photographers there so I'm sure us small fry foodbloggers wouldn't have seemed paparazzi like at all!

Hi Jo: Thanks! I'm surprised you remembered! 🙂 The lens is still having the same problems but I have learnt to adjust rather than send it back and have to take a lot more shots to make sure I get a clear one!

Hi Anonymous: All the food was very drool worthy! 🙂

Hi Kat: Thanks!

Hi Betty: I think he was one of the first to arrive & he had chosen his seat. It just happened that all of us picked seats near the window which was where he was sitting!

Hi Adrian: It was great to meet you too! We should go review Ben K together because more people = more food = more photo opportunities! Hehe!

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Maria@TheGourmetChallenge September 30, 2009 at 1:25 pm

oh wow, such gorgeous food. Love the invite and the extra added goodness of Matt Preston!

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shez September 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Sounds like you had an absolute ball! Loving the Matt Preston high five shot – he seems great (if very very tall!)

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Melissa September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Looks like you had a great time! So jealous that you got to meet Matt Preston!! Love the ways they used the salami as well..

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Ellie October 1, 2009 at 9:35 am

Great post! I am liking Melbourne desserts more…… 🙂

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Rilsta October 1, 2009 at 9:38 am

Hi Maria: Yeah, how cool was the invite! I thought it was really clever! Matt Preston was added goodness! 🙂

Hi Shez: It was a lovely event! Matt is very tall, and even taller when standing in a group of Asians!!

Hi Melissa: Yes, felt very lucky to get to meet Matt Preston though I doubt he would remember me after a months time! He must meet so many people everyday!

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Rilsta October 1, 2009 at 9:40 am

Hi Ellie: Thanks! Didn't think much of the panacotta but the sticky date pudding was GOODDDD! 🙂

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Howard October 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Looks like you guys had a great time at the lunch as well, the menu was different here in Sydney but yours looked just as good!

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Rilsta October 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

Hi Howard: It was a fantastic lunch and a pleasure to meet Matt Preston in person! I liked the look of Sydney's savoury items.

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Cin October 5, 2009 at 8:36 am

I like your portrait of Matt. Good shot!

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Rilsta October 5, 2009 at 9:56 am

Hi Cin: Thanks! 🙂

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