Griffith’s salami making season usually starts in late May/early June, (when it’s too cold for flies and the cool temperatures are perfect for curing). The salamis are ready towards the end of August, so this is when Griffith holds its annual Festa delle Salsicce (sausage festival).
This fantastic festa started life as a bet between two Griffith gentlemen, the late Mr Tony Fattore and Mr Roy Catanzariti. Both of Italian origin, they had a long-standing debate about whose region made the best salamis (Tony’s family had come from Calabria and Roy from Abruzzi). So they decided to formalise things and start a competition. In its first year 12 salamis were entered, representing Calabria, the Veneto region, Sicily, Abbruzzi and Australia. The inaugural winner was a Calabrian, Mr Guiseppe Trimboli.
Fourteen years later and this small competition has grown into a major event. Last weekend, the competition was held again and this time attracted 140 entries and 800 punters to the lunch celebrating the end of the festival.
With a team of volunteers in tow, Roy Catanzariti (below right) still spearheads the competition and every year invites different guests to join the judging panel, which always consists of 24 people. This year the celebrity guests included surgeon Dr S Sorrenti, author Melina Marchetta, restuarenter Egeneo Mayali, Italian consulate Sergio Martes, and Italian chamber of commerce business manager Mr Luca Di Leonardis.
This year’s event was won by Mr Michael Gamba from the Veneto, second place went to Dom Fattore an Abbruzzi and third came Robert Marando a Calabrian.
Tim, the kids and I just loved our day at the Griffith Festa delle Salsicce. This kind of event is just my cup of tea; tasty, simple food, lots of noisy, happy people, music and wine. We are already planning to organise a bunch of mates to come with us next year and maybe we’ll enter a venison sausage and bring Orange into the mix!