Slavonija Continental Butchers, 75 Main Rd West, St Albans. Phone: 9366 2336.
The lovely staff at Slavonija Continental Butchers tell me the business has been in operation at these premises for about 30 years.
They answer my pesky questions as a succession of regular customers come and go.
They stock a nice but restricted line groceries such as pickled vegetables and so on.
But the main action here without a doubt surrounds the smoked meats and sausages.
Everything bar the salami is made in-house, I am informed.
There’s several different kinds of Polish sausage, the difference between them being something I only dimly grasp.
I buy a long length of low-fat Polish sausage at $20 a kilogram. If it tastes as good as it looks, it may become our default position for pastas, salads and bean soups and stews in which we use chorizo.
I buy, too, a half dozen frankfurts at $11 a kilogram.
This is about twice what we pay for unsmoked beef numbers at Al Amena at the Circle in Altona but still way short of what Andrews in Yarraville charges for their franks.
These are fat and pale pink, as opposed to the long, skinny and red that is more familiar. They are smoked, though.
Most of them go in the freezer, but I have two for dinner – just with bread roll, dijon mustard and pickled cucumber slices.
They’re damn fine, juicy and with a only a mild smokiness.
And yes – joy of joys – they go “pop”.
At that sort of acceptable price, these, too, could become regulars in our household.
I’m looking forward to exploring the Slavonija range at greater depth, especially with a view to tarting up our work/school lunches.