The Tarini family has been putting the main dish on local dinner tables for almost 60 years. Meat, fish, and fowl. Healthy, hearty, traditional family fare.
But it’s different today.
”Customers are more knowledgeable, more adventurous. Their taste buds are opening. They come into the store with recipes…sushi, Thai food…all kinds of diversity,” says Paul Tarini.
“Ten years of watching cooking shows on cable television has changed the way people in Sudbury think about food. It’s an exciting time to be in the food business.”
At Tarini Brothers Meat Market, second-generation owners Paul and Richard go out of their way to meet and to anticipate changing tastes. From pheasant and guinea fowl to elk, caribou, and buffalo, even wild boar.
“If there’s something out there that a customer wants, we try our best to get it,” says Paul.
Whitefish, trout, rainbow salmon, pickerel are delivered by the fishermen, fresh from Georgian Bay only a few hours after being caught. From more distant ports come arctic char, lobster, king crab, octopus, and swordfish.
Lean fish, baked or broiled, is an important part of the new food awareness. However, there are still plenty of traditionalists who prefer their fish fried. The Falconbridge Legion, for example, uses 500 pounds of Tarini’s Georgian Bay coldwater pike filets every month at their popular fish fries.
Pig roasts are also traditional. And anyone who’s been to one will attest that roast pig is a succulent summertime taste experience never to be forgotten. Ranging in size from 30 to 150 pounds, pigs are stuffed and mounted on an electric spit, ready to roast over the backyard barbeque.
Something else that’s never fallen out of favour: Tarini’s porketta roast. It’s famous. In 2007, when viewers of the Christine Cushing cooking show, on cable from Toronto, were asked to write in about favourite foods, so many people emailed from Sudbury to rave about Tarini’s porketta that Paul was invited on the show. It was also written up in the LCBO magazine.
For cooking-show fans who love and appreciate good food, but do not love to cook (at least not every night) Tarini’s commercial kitchen produces ready-to-heat-and-eat products. Home-made pastas and sauces, lasagna, gnocci. Home-made bacon, lunch meats, sausages, pepperettes. Stuffed fish. Smoked fish. Fish fins, lightly battered and softly crunchy. And the list goes on.
When the holidays roll around, instead of a ham or the time-honoured big bird, some customers now prefer a turkey roll. That’s a whole turkey but without the bones. Deboned in the store and stuffed (they’ll use your own dressing if you like), it’s made into a roll that’s perfect for roasting, easy to slice, and delectable to eat.
For those seeking the ultimate in festive fowl, there is the turdunken. This is a boneless rolled turkey, stuffed with a rolled duck and a rolled chicken, plus dressing.
So it’s no surprise that when Sudbury’s new food sophisticates are searching for something completely different or for the very best of traditional favourites, many come first to check out the shelves and big glass showcases at Tarini Brothers.