Michael and Anna Olson arrived in Jasper with suitcases full of meat, which they offered up in a private tasting to some chefs and presenters late this afternoon, after the farewell brunch, after which 500 or so guests from the first package trickled out.
They brought chunks of prosciutto, capicola (pork shoulder), bresaola (beef) and pancetta made by the Pingue family (Fernando, Mario Jr. and Sr.) of Niagara Food Specialties using organic, free-range hogs and techniques Mario Sr. learned from his grandfather in Italy. Free of nitrates and other additives, Michael described the formulas as not much different than they likely were a thousand years ago. So we drank some wine and chewed the fat (literally) with crusty baguette and teeny tastes of Ice Wine & Cherry Aceto Aperitif from Aceto Niagara – a small company that turns produce from the Niagara region into ice wine and vinegars not by adding fruit or flavours to premade vinegar, but by actually making wine out of tomatoes, cherries, peaches and apricots, and then turning that wine into vinegar; a trickier process but well worth it, let me tell you. (If you’re in Ontario, Michael and Anna sell them in their store in St. Catharines! Please send me some.)