Salami Army swells as record numbers attend Melbourne Salami Festa 2014

Melbourne Salami Festa at the Northcote Town Hall.
Melbourne Salami Festa at the Northcote Town Hall. Photo: Meredith O'Shea

Melbourne's annual salami championship attracted thousands of pork lovers to the Northcote Town Hall on Sunday.

Known fondly as the Salami Army, salami makers and consumers queued up to taste the estimated 36,000 slices of salami served at the Melbourne Salami Festa.

The art of salami making was also put to the test, with 72 entries in the home-made salami contest.

Winner: Bernard Holbery.
Winner: Bernard Holbery. Photo: Meredith O'Shea

Contestants battled for first prize, which included a free range Berkshire pig weighing in at 100kg and valued at $1000.

A panel of expert judges crowned Bernard Holbery Melbourne's best home-made salami maker, proving it is not only those with Italian blood in their veins who can master the art.

After losing his house in the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, Mr Holbery moved to North Carlton. But unlike many other city-dwelling salami makers, he does not hang his salami in the garage.

Instead, he has an antique meat safe and hangs the salami on trees in the cool mountains of Marysville.

The festa has been running for three years and organisers said it had been their biggest year, with more than 3500 people attending.

"Melbourne is a great city for us to begin our Salami Army," said event director Linda Catalano.

"There is clearly a groundswell of interest."