Experience No.012 in Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences.
It’s the Porsche of prosciutto, the Prada of pancetta, all the way from the small Victorian town of Musk, just south of Daylesford. Istra Smallgoods is run by brothers Bernie and Sebastian Jurcan, having taken over the business from their parents Livio and Lidia, who hailed from the Northern Croatian peninsula of Istra.
“Great products in old European style. Wonderful Istran salami and pancetta and much more. They make the prosciutto from black pigs for Victor Churchill, which takes two years of hanging.” – Alla Wolf-Tasker
Each week they struggle to keep up with the demand for their hand-cured prosciutto, pancetta, cappocollo, salami and homemade sausage. They stop taking orders for Christmas hams in early November, and the waiting list for the free range Western Plains Pork gets longer each year.
When they arrived in Australia 35 years ago, Livio would prepare a few pigs for the family every winter. That taste of home proved popular with friends and 13 years ago a business was born. Now supplying stores and Coles delis around Victoria, the Jurcan boys are keen to keep the business going.
Bernie says the only problem is demand: “We make our meat the traditional way and try to keep it as slow as possible. Prosciutto on the bone takes two years to prepare but people want it NOW.” Luckily, they have another variety of boneless prosciutto that’s almost as popular – and only takes 9-12 months to mature.
Where: 36 Wheelers Hill Rd, Musk, Victoria. (03) 5348 3382, www.dmproduce.com.au
Did you know: Istra Smallgoods’ curing techniques are hundreds of years old and were passed down through generations of the Istra family.