Bull Boar sausage

Ark of taste
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Bull Boar sausage

The Bull Boar is a beef and pork sausage produced by the Italian-speaking Swiss population of the Victorian Gold Fields since the 1850s. It is not known why so many Swiss/Italian settlers chose to settle in and around this area. Certainly there are similarities to the Northern Italian and Swiss mountainous regions, and of course language barriers made it important to congregate together. Some Swiss and Italians made their fortune on the goldfields, but the less lucky saw their future in agricultural pursuits, such as wine-making and dairying, as well using other skills such as stone-masonry. Many agricultural and social activities still survive in today’s community, along with many names of Swiss and Italian Origin. Spices, wine and garlic make Bull Boar a distinctive sausage. The recipe is endagered of becomming extinct in the Swiss/Italian population due to the huge investment and time and labour to make a batch of these sausages. To Italian immigrants, it was just referred to as salsiccie or ‘sausage’. It was called Bull Boar on the Gold Fields by the English speaking settlers because it contained both beef and pork in roughly equal proportions, with lean beef and pork that is roughly 50/50 fat and lean. The sausage is made with wine in which garlic has steeped and has a sharp, almost ‘high’ taste. It is less fatty than most sausages so can feel slightly dry. It is full of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice so during cooking it releases an aroma like a meaty hot cross bun. Every family in the district has their own recipe which are all carefully guarded secrets. In many instances, apart from their family name, it is their last link with their Italian speaking antecedents who settled the area. The traditional way of cooking Bull Boars is to drop them into a pot of water and then bring it to simmering point for 10 minutes. Today, Bull Boar Sausage is made by a handful of local butchers. There is danger of the name being used to produce inferior product. In Hepburn springs – a center of Swiss-Italian immigration – an annual festival celebrates local food traditions, including Bull Boar Sausage.

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Production area:Victorian Gold Fields

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Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Richard Cornish