A new product from the Eden Smokehouse is expected to excite serious brekkie fans and those with a taste for the traditional.
The Smokehouse, well-know for it’s smoked fish and chicken has moved into the bacon business after owner Stan Soroka spent a couple of years developing the right recipe.
For Mr Soroka it starts with the animal which has to be fed on the right foods and most importantly it has to be Australian.
“Around 80 per cent of pork in Australia is imported. It comes from Holland and Denmark and it’s a volume and price issue,” he explained.
He started looking at local producers but found some pigs were being fed on a diet of supermarket waste and date expiring foods.
“There was just too much fat on these animals; it was all about how they were being fed.”
A Nethercote local was rearing some pigs for her own use and agreed to feed them on fish meal, a high protein waste product from the Smokehouse’s fish products. The results were what Mr Soroka was looking for; lower fat content and good flavour but he was unable to find a local source.
“I decided I was over bacon. At Sprout (Sprout Cafe in Eden) we were buying bacon but weren’t happy with where it was coming from and so I started looking around for a pork supplier of stall-free animals fed on grain.
“I have now found a NSW supplier and given them my specifications; no more than a certain amount of fat and stall-free,” Mr Soroka said.
“I had to have a point of difference. Firstly it’s Australian. I wanted to move away from modern bacon processing where they add 15 per cent water. Our bacon doesn’t spit or shrink; it’s dry cured, an old process using salt and spices. We lose 15 per cent water but we have the flavour,” Mr Soroka said.
“I saw a number of recipes using spices in Europe but decided to develop my own flavour.”
Now he has people driving from Goulburn to buy slabs of his bacon to slice for their own use.
One of the drivers to move into another line has been the seasonal nature of smoked fish sales.
“The fish experience has been that some is hard to get and it’s seasonal, sales go down in winter.
“The whole fishing industry has changed. We used to get mackeral and sardines. We’ve also had supply issues from the salmon farms because of warmer waters in Tasmania,” Mr Soroka said.
On July 1 this year the Australian government country of origin food labelling system, which commenced on 1 July 2016 becomes mandatory.
It’s something that Mr Soroka is pleased about as he will be able to proudly display the 100 per cent Australian product label on his bacon.