To take a tangent both culinarily and geographically from the other hamper fare, I find myself outside of Talho, a Portuguese butchery at the fringe of the Petersham shopping district colloquially referred to as Little Portugal.
Talho is a place I’ve read about a number of times, though this was my first visit to the store. I’ve customed another Portuguese butchery a little further down the road, though the name of the store currently eludes me. On a number of occasions I’ve purchased this forgotten store’s chouriço (really good) and presunto (nothing special). However, since Talho is that name that keeps popping up in foodie references and not the store that’s slipped my mind, I figured I’d finally check it out.
The unnamed store had the feel of any other run-o’-the-mill suburban butchery. Talho, however, had a different air to it. I’m at a loss to adequately describe the atmosphere other than there was somewhat of a unique, ethnic vibe to this place that the yet-to-be-identified butchery lacked. Maybe it’s my imagination…
Not really knowing much about Portuguese meats, and being new to the store, I’d asked for what I would have bought at the “like, I don’t know, whatever!” butchery, namely chouriço and presunto.
Due to the kindness of the butcher serving me, I’d finally found out that the chor-ri-ko that I’d asked for was actually pronounced chor-ri-so, in a similar fashion to the Spanish equivalent. That would explain the weird pause I’d get whenever I placed my order with the staff at the <insert name here> butchery.
Two almost indistinguishable looking specimens were purchased – the standard chouriço and the chouriço with chili. I’ve been told that aside from the addition of chili, the two types of chouriço are the same in composition.
Note that they are almost indistinguishable. There is a way to distinguish the chili from the non-chili variety without the need for a tasting sample.
As for the flavour, unfortunately I cannot speak for the ones pictured, as they were included whole and otherwise untouched into the hamper. However, if it’s anything like the one at the ________ butchery, it should be firm and somewhat gritty in texture with a satisfying meatiness to it. This should be complemented by a smokey aroma, a distinct but not overbearing garlic presence and a pleasantly spicy backnote.
As for the presunto, unfortunately at the time there wasn’t any available for sale. However, a tip on the q.t. – I’ve been informed that their in-house presunto should be matured and ready for sale towards the end of March. I’ll certainly be back around that time to get my hands on some freshly cured presunto, as well as finally find out how those damn chouriço tastes!
The final course, Part 4 of 4, to be served shortly…