In recent years the Italian tradition of making salami has gained increasing attention in Griffith as a result of the Festa della Salsicce (Festival of the Sausage), which is held at Pioneer Park Museum.
It is a laborious process to mince pork and then pack the meat into salamis. Usually it requires a full day, including butchering a pig before dawn.
“Dad used to do all his own salami-making,” remembered Nevio Ceccone. “Usually the machines are hand-cranked and he had one converted to electric. It saves a lot of time.”
“He used to go out and help others during the salami season,” which is during Autumn and early Winter. “Every weekend it was usually one or two” appointments to assist other families to prepare their salamis.
“As far as I know, he was they only person to have an item like this designed and made.”
On Facebook Denis Faganello remembered the machine “making salami with my dad”.
“He made salami for us year after year,” recalled Wal Snaidero. “I remember that mincer as a young kid.”
Nevio Ceccone recalled that his father Enzo would be “booked out for a month and a half” to make salamis in the region. His role in assisting other men to cure meat developed from the late 1950s and into the early 1970s, when the hand-cranked machine would be used.
The collection of knives donated to the Musuem includes three which were replaced after many years of sharpening, as well as a homemade sharpening stone wheel that was used to hone the blades.
Family recipes for salami are guarded secrets. Nevio reveals only his father made pork salami with salt and some herbs, “but we don’t talk about them.”
Around six to seven pigs would be slaughtered to make salami for personal use, with another one to two each weekend slaughtered while assisting others.