Published on April 2nd, 2012 | by Carlo Mazzarella

The Salami Board had their first meeting since the Salami Festa
at the Grossi family’s new salumi bar called OMBRA
in Bourke Street, Melbourne.

If Melbourne’s passion and enthusiasm for salami and salumi was not evident enough at the inaugural Melbourne Salami Festa then the opening of Guy Grossi’s OMBRA Salumi Bar has firmly cemented Melbourne at the centre of this salumi revolution.

OMBRA sits literally next door to Grossi Florentino and the Cellar Bar, the Grossi family’s culinary empire on Bourke Street. The bar oozes cool and boasts an impressive variety of homemade products like mortadella, pancetta, prosciutto, capocollo and of course salami. Some are literally made in-house while others are produced and aged off-site.

Enough about wine, we were there for the salami.

Carlo Grossi, son of Guy Grossi was on hand to take us on a tour of OMBRA and into the secret nooks where these products are kept. It is clear that he shares The Salami Board’s passion for quality salami. The way in which he espoused salumi and the craft of the makers you could be mistaken to think at times we were talking about a work of art hanging in a gallery rather than an aged prosciutto leg hanging in a walk-in coolroom.

OMBRA is inspired by the ‘Salumerie’ of Italy and they are preserving more than just cured meat here. Ancient traditions and a way of life and culture are celebrated and the idea of making the most of what nature has to offer with nothing going to waste couldn’t be a more forward thinking way to live these days.

So after the tour Carlo sat us down and his excellent staff treated us to a serving of some very fine salumi. Carlo suggested we begin by having a glass of Lambrusco. Eyebrows were raised around the table as surely he was joking, we all know that Lambrusco suffers from an image problem but he assured us that this ‘gem of a wine’ has been getting a bad wrap now for too long and he’s on a mission to change that. Still sceptical we weren’t about to offend our host and he returned with a bottle of Lambrusco hailing from the same region that produces Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Balsamic vinegar. Emilia-Romagna. So how could they possibly produce anything bad? Believe me, they haven’t.

Enough about wine, we were there for the salami. Served on rustic wooden boards was a variety of items off the menu such as Dom Marzano’s (inaugural judge of the Melbourne Salami Festa) homemade mortadella. Smaller in size than many of us might be used to, this mortadella has a unique texture and literally melts in your mouth like a holy wafer in church. We grazed on three varieties of salami, the Sopressa Rivestita, the Cacciatore and local maker Adam Foster’s Syrahmi Salami as well as Prosciutto San Daniele and Capocollo. This was real artisan quality product being served up by makers that have perfected their craft. Quality and attention to detail shows in every aspect of OMBRA from the way in which they decanter their wine into flagons before serving to the rustic village like napkins made from cloth.

The Salami Board has found a kindred spirit and friend in OMBRA.

Be a friend of OMBRA and join their ‘Friends of Ours’ mailing list. www.ombrabar.com.au

OMBRA Salumi Bar
76 Bourke St, Melbourne, Australia
Opening Hours:
 Mon – Sat 11:30 am till late
 (03) 9639 1927

About the Author

Carlo Mazzarella

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