La Delicatezza, Shop 1 & 2, 32 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington. Phone: 9372 2822
Who killed the Ploughman’s Lunch?
Once upon a time they were everywhere – and not just in pubs, either.
It may be unfair, but I reckon it’s reasonable to apportion some of the blame on the French and Italians, and maybe even the Spaniards, what with their charcuterie and antipasto platters and tapas.
Those naughty Continental types!
But sometimes I don’t feel like cornichons; I feel like pickled onions.
And sometimes I don’t feel like bocconcini; I feel like a nice, sharp cheddar.
La Delicatezza has an Italian name, an Italian vibe and even an Italian boss, Nick, so seems like an unlikely place to find a ploughman’s lunch.
But there it is – on a long list of breakfasts, paninis, salads and other “platters”.
In the front room there’s a serving counter and display, groceries and a couple of tables.
In a back room there’s more groceries, two more tables and a window bench with stools.
Outside, a courtyard area with more tables is shared with some apartments.
My ploughman’s lunch ($15) does the job.
The bread is superb and in just the right quantity – warm, crusty, not too heavy.
Two slices of good ham.
A slab of OK cheddar. I would’ve preferred something a little sharper and older.
Some tomato segments.
And I get pickled onions AND cornichons!
The pickled onions are a little sweeter than I prefer, but they’re crunchy – nothing worse than soggy pickled onions.
Moreover, the seasoning is beguiling – maybe a mix of cinnamon and coriander among other things?
Nick grabs the bottle of onions from the kitchen so we can read the ingredients list together.
The onions are produced by Emelia’s The Saucy Australian in Kyneton, with the ingredients on this particular product being listed as “onions, white vinegar, sugar, chillies and spices”.
It’s a mystery!
I buy a bottle of Emelia’s chilli pickled onions from Nick anyway, and when I get home I call the company and have my call answered by Emelia herself.
She tells me the wording is deliberately vague – it’s not just a mystery, it’s A Secret!
She refuses to divulge more but tells me her onions are guaranteed to stay crunchy for the life of the bottle. And that the white – and often soggy – ones found in fish and chip shops are bleached.
Pushing a little harder, I go fishing: “Cinnamon and coriander?”
“Definitely not,” she says with a smile.
Emelia has a fine range of products.