Getting pickled in Kyneton …




Emelia’s The Saucy Australian, 20a Piper Street, Kyneton. Phone: 5422 2020

Having talked to Emelia by phone several months previously – seeking, and failing to discover, the seasoning of pickled onions that were a highlight of a Flemington ploughman’s lunch – it’s a pleasure to meet her in person.

It’s just as much a pleasure to get “the tour” and discover over the course of an hour or so the history, life and times of the company started 15 years ago by Emelia and her husband, Ron.

One surprise is to discover that the company’s endeavours extend beyond the pickles, sauces and condiments I had expected – there’s pies being made today to join a range that also includes soups, casseroles and pates.

But these fresh items are only sold locally – from the shop that itself has only been in operation for the past three years.

How does Emelia talk about her company, its many products and her pride in its success?

With relish, of course!


The numbers are impressive.

“We’re Australia’s most awarded condiment producer,” Emelia proclaims. “And all our products are completely chemical and gluten free.”

The company currently supplies its 49-product line to about 2000 customers all over Australia – and not one of them has the words “Coles” or “Woolworths” as part of their name.

These days all orders are handled by Australia Post.

Before that, though, Emelia and Ron hit the road big time.

“We spent three weeks on the road and then two at home for five years,” Emelia says. “We did that for five years, covering 100,000 kilometres a year.”

It’s that sort of hands-on approach that remains the bedrock philosophy of the company, although these days Emelia does it all by telephone, staying in touch with customers she has gotten to know so well.


Wherever possible, she uses locally grown produce, including fresh herbs, some of which she grows herself.

The onions – typically 3000 kilograms in a three-month period – come from Swan Hill, Tasmania or South Australia.

The chilli content comes from Bundaberg in the form of a fresh puree.

The spotlessly clean production, bottling and cooking area looks like a small factory but is also recognisably a kitchen.

The onions are topped and tailed by machine, but other than that there are no conveyer belts and the like here – everything, including bottling, is done by hand.

I can attest to the excellence of the steaming hot and fresh chicken and mushroom pie Emelia provides me for lunch.

Thanks to Emelia, Consider The Sauce has a gift pack of Old-Fashioned Pickled Onions, Piccalilli Chilli and Lincolnshire Chutney to give to one lucky reader.

First person to email me – the address is on the site and not too hard to find – is the winner!

Emelia’s products are sold by Pompello in Seddon and Parade Deli in Williamstown.

Or you can order online at the Emelia’s website.

Thanks to Emelia and her crew for putting up with my many questions and incessantly clicking camera!


La Delicatezza


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”.

La Delicatezza is an appealing deli, just up the road from Chef Lagenda and Laksa King.

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.

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