Balzanelli Smallgoods invited The Food Avenue to a VIP Foodie Night to experience the produce and culture at this boutique, award winning manufacturer of smallgoods. Michelle Taylor went along to discover what Balzanelli Smallgoods was all about!
When I travelled through Italy with my family last year, it wasn't the urban sprawl or the landmark monuments that enthralled me and still linger on as a warm memory. It was along the winding side streets of tiny cobblestoned towns and within the the hole-in-the-wall family restaurants that magical moments and favourite memories were created.
Due to our tight travel budget, I attempted each day to create authentic Italian meals cheaply from ingredients I sourced at local supermarkets.
While I am not an inventive cook, the pastas and dishes I made (without any recipe books, mind you) were surprisingly fabulous. Not because of any skill on my part, but due to the wonderful ingredients I had on hand. My family were gobsmacked at the diversity and deliciousness of these meals after 2 years of enduring my '100 ways with cheap, nasty homebrand sausage' dinners.
Our meals in Italy were so good in fact, I left the country moaning 'I will never find food like this again!'
Not true. Only 7 months later - last week to be precise, I discovered a true taste of Italy just down the road from home.
No, it's not a restaurant. I visited Balzanelli Smallgoods - Four Bees Meats in Queanbeyan. In this friendly deli I found wonderful Italian produce made with love; using recipes that have been passed down through the family over several generations.
The Balzanelli family arrived in Canberra in 1960, bringing with them a rich agricultural heritage from their farm back in Italy. They continued to make their favorite foods from scratch once they arrived. It was only much later after they established a piggery on their Canberra farm and when patriarch Giovanni's son decided to become a butcher that their small goods business was born.
The cheeses and the meats, some of which pay homage to the Balzanelli kid's Spanish mum, are rich and flavoursome.
They have a wide range of other Italian products available.
Here on our doorstep! It was like being back in a grocery store in Rome!
And look at this. Truffle infused honey! The honey drizzled over some very sharp cheddar on a cracker... what a taste sensation!
I also sampled a variety of aromatic pizzas and risottos made with Balzanelli -small goods.
Look at this moist yet firm polenta cake soaked in orange syrup. It was amazing.
So, if you want to make a dish that would make any Nonna proud, or if you want to bring Italy into your home in a pasta dish look no further. Balzanelli Smallgoods has you covered.
Address: 5/122 Crawford street, Queanbeyan, NSW (shop front is in the Aldi carpark)
Phone: (02) 6280 5104
*Michelle dined as a guest of Balzanelli Smallgoods. All views are Michelle's own.
Michelle is a local photographer who wishes all her blog posts could be about fabulous food and exciting travel destinations. All photos in this post were taken by Michelle. Visit Kazuri Photography for more of Michelle's wonderful photography.