Cousins Stefano de Blasi and Edoardo Perlo are the founders of foodie heaven, Salt Meats Cheese, in Alexandria. Here they chat to Ciao about Italian cuisine and how their passion for food all began…
Aside from selling delicious food, Salt Meats Cheese offers cooking classes and an event space. When you first started the business did you intend to have this kind of variety?
The business kind of grew organically, we set up a beautiful, unique space and realised that we could use this space to hold events – surrounded by interesting food products and providing delicious food at the same time. We always wanted to hold cooking classes because we know how Australians love to get involved in making food, especially traditional Italian pasta and pizza, and it just developed from there.
How did you first become interested in food?
We’re Italian! We grew up in a culture of amazing food, watching our mums in the kitchen using the best simple ingredients and fresh produce to create amazing dishes. Casa Gusto, our family business, is in Liguria where we manufacture and produce premium quality olives, olive oil, sauces and other cooking needs. Salt Meats Cheese started when we wanted to import these products to the Australian market.
What four ingredients are essential in your kitchen?
A really good quality olive oil is a must! Can’t cook without it.
An array of our exotic flavoured salts. At the moment we’re loving the vintage merlot salt, which we use on salads or on fresh mozzarella and we’re always fans of our truffle sea salt. Use some on popcorn for a gourmet light snack!
Eggs. You can do so much with eggs and eat them anytime of the day!
Granola. A seriously satisfying snack or way to start the day.
Can any other cuisine compete with Italian?
Of course! We love Italian food but we love Australia because of the huge variety of cuisine and dining options, it’s amazing to live in a place where there is such a huge mix of authentic cuisine everywhere. Dumplings one night, pasta another night, steaks and burgers, and even the Thai lady at our local Thai knows our orders when she sees us! We missed the food from home when we were travelling Australia as students/backpackers and found it hard to find decent priced and quality antipasti, which is why we wanted to import different types of meats and cheeses, but we enjoy many types of food here.
What is your favourite kitchen utensil?
It might sound strange but the vegetable peeler is one of the most useful. You don’t just use it to peel vegetables, it’s also great to shave parmigiano cheese, slice onion, cucumber, ginger and other vegetables super-thin for salads!
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, whom would you invite?
We’d love to invite our mums from Italy over for dinner! We’ve been so busy with events, functions and catering at Salt Meats Cheese we hardly even have time to Skype our parents.
Peach & Burrata Bruschetta
Great to serve as a summer starter or light snack, a great mix of sweet, salty, creamy and fruity flavours.
1 peach, sliced
175g burrata cheese
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
Rosemary, finely chopped
Thyme, finely chopped
1. Stir together herbs and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
2. Top each slice of toasted bread with a generous spread of creamy burrata and then sprinkle with a pinch of the herb mix.
3. Set the bread aside and lay peach slices in a single flat layer on a flame proof surface or plate.
4. Lightly sprinkle each slice with turbinado sugar. Using a kitchen torch set to a medium-low flame, melt the sugar by making short, even passes over the top of the sugar. Continue melting the sugar until it bubbles and turns dark brown. This should take about 30 seconds.
5. Place each slice of caramelised peach on a piece of toast and serve.