One of the enduring memories of my childhood is spending time at my Nan’s place in the Riverland town of Renmark and accompanying her to Lindner’s, a local family-owned butcher just around the corner.
Once my Nan had completed her transaction, the generously proportioned butcher would smile at us kiddies, give his offal-stained hands a cursory wipe on his bloodstained apron, and slice off a massive hunk of bung fritz for my brother and I. A tasty treat indeed.
And my poor Nan, God bless her soul, generally only made a trip to Lindner’s to pick up free dog bones, which meant that the poor butcher was well out of pocket as a result of our visit. We came back time after time to pick up those bones for Nana’s black lab, and time after time the butcher would dispense the ‘bung fritz’ without hesitation. I hope he’s still in business…
South Australia has the most generous butchers in Australia. To this day, SA children are conditioned to expect a free slice of ‘bung fritz’ – regardless of the value of the purchase – when accompanying their parents to the butcher.
Juvenile butcher-shop regulars are known to ‘eyeball’ the butcher expectantly from the moment they enter the shop, heaping pressure on the man in the apron as he measures out the snags and chuck steak. Further indirect pressure is exerted by younger children who nag incessantly: ‘Mummy, can I have some fritz? Mummy, can I have some fritz?’, whilst Mummy is trying to choose between the honey soy skewers or the Malaysian satay skewers.
Woe betide the butcher who fails to remit the unofficial ‘fritz tax’ to a peckish kid. After all, Mr Butcher, if you’re not willing to dole out the good stuff, there are plenty of your colleagues that will…what do you say about that?
Some of you are probably wondering what the hell ‘bung fritz’ is. Another South Australian institution, ‘bung fritz’ is a processed meat product that comes in a natural sausage-like casing. It’s not to be confused with other inferior processed meat products like Devon (NSW), Luncheon (Queensland) or Polony (WA), which typically come in a very unappetising plastic casing and taste awful.
‘Bung Fritz’ is often teamed with tomato sauce (we recommend SA’s Beerenberg Tomato Sauce) on sandwiches for school lunches and it also works well when fried for breakfast, particularly after a night of drinking Coopers beer. Processed meat doesn’t get any better than this!
Ask your local butcher about it today, or simply take your kid in and you’ll get a free sample to try. If you can prise it out of their hands.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bung fritz in distinctive natural orange casing pictured above– this image comes from the ‘South Australian Bung Fritz Appreciation Society’, which unlike Bung Fritz, claims to be ‘all lips and no arseholes’.