by Lois Davey.
There are a number of things I won’t eat including everything which falls into the bracket of “smallgoods”. I distrust any meat-based item which may or may not include bits of this, shavings of that, and handfuls of heaven knows what – the whole concoction masked by herbs and spices which may or may not be of an entirely natural provenence.
In short, neither salami nor sausages will pass my lips.
Despite this personal aversion I am obliged to purchase a six-pack of snarlers each fortnight for His Lordship who eschews all varieties in favour of those labelled “Alpine Pork” (you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?).
NZ sausage varietals are nothing if not plentiful and inventive. But for the most part their names reflect something imaginable in terms of animal and flavouring used except for the “Alpine Pork” which tells me nothing, yet manages to comprehensively imply pig farms perched atop snowy mountain peaks…..could this possibly be the case?
I donned my deeerstalker, polished the magnifying glass, sucked on my pipe and began the investigation by phoning the head butcher at my usual supermarket (Woolworths). I explained my mission – Russell guffawed. As this jolly outburst descended to a staggered chortle he admitted he had no idea why they were called “Alpine Pork” (but made a few amusing references to touristy antics in Queenstown).
Apparently he orders them in from Heller’s.
Righto – off to Heller’s website which colourfully describes their range of “Sensational Sausages” yet makes no mention of the elusive mountain pig variety. Via an 0800 number on their website I questioned a woman who clearly thought I was a time-waster, and wasted no time tersely informing me that “Alpine Pork” sausages were made by them exclusively for Progressive Enterprises who had chosen their name.
(By the way, Heller’s “Angus Pure” sausages boast they are made from meat from “NZ’s richest grazing grounds from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island …” Just a small point here: there’s been no cattle on Stewart Island since 2000 and even before then merely for personal use.)
The Progressive (encompasses Woolworths, Countdown and Foodtown supermarket chains) website vouchsafes no contacts save those of “Corporate Affairs” and Penny Newbiggin/Media Enquiries. As my budget doesn’t run to phoning mobile numbers I chose to email Ms Newbiggin. After a week she has chosen not to reply.
I therefore hand over my investigations (or suppositions) as to the provenence of “Alpine Pork” to fellow Foodlover’s.