The producers: Gamze smokehouse

Author: Richard Cornish
Photography: Rodney Macuja

Bringing local flavour to artisan-made bacon.

Who Felix Gamze arrived in Australia from Slovenia as a three-year-old and grew up around north-east Victoria where he trained to be a butcher and learnt the secrets of preserving meat from "people who would walk into the butcher's shop and share their secrets".

How Three years ago, Gamze started using crossbred rare-breed pigs sourced from local farmers. After years of experimenting, his preferred cure is now based on fermented celery extract, salt, spices and honey, and he shuns chemicals that plump meat with water. Gamze also now uses Australian native hardwood blends for smoking, which, though they're slightly more difficult to work with than the more commonly used European woods, give hams, bacon and smallgoods a distinctive flavour.

Why During the curing process, Gamze's bacons lose up to 20 per cent of their original weight (some industrial hams and bacons gain weight during curing), so the bacon is dense, with enough fat to carry the full flavour of the pork without becoming too rich. Slightly sweet from the honey, the bacon has a strong but not overpowering smoky tang, making it perfect for cooking: fry it up with kale, add it to soups and stews or slice it, grill it and serve it with pancakes and maple syrup for a breakfast of champions.

Where Stockists include Melbourne's Skinner & Hackett, King & Godfree and Leaf Store, and Sydney's Victor Churchill.





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