Part of the appeal of living in Fitzroy is having everything I need within walking distance. I value having a great diversity of goods and services available in my immediate vicinity and like to support local businesses by buying from them even though they may not be the cheapest provider in town. For me to continue to enjoy the lifestyle enabled by being surrounded by convenience, I must support local businesses. To further this aim, I’m going to write a series of posts about where to get different ingredients in Fitzroy.

largo1 shopping in Fitzroy - Largo butcher on Brunswick St

Fitzroyalty already features a strong emphasis on food, and I write about shops regularly, but I’m going to focus more on the specialties of individual shops and highlight what makes them unique. By exploring I have found many of the smaller food shops in Fitzroy stock specific things I like, such as white anchovy fillets at Casa Iberia or specific Victorian wines from different Fitzroy bottleshops.

While Fitzroy has many great things, it is not particularly well served for meat (I avoid supermarket meat). Jonathan’s on the Collingwood side of Smith St is nearby, as is the endless choice at the Queen Victoria Market. Perhaps this closeness, combined with the popularity of vegetarianism in the inner north, is the reason why there is only one specialty butcher in Fitzroy. Largo on the corner of Westgarth St and Brunswick St has a small but well selected range of meats, including rabbits and other things you won’t get at the supermarket, and the most delicious Sicilian style fennel chilli pork sausages.

I don’t specifically define Fitzroyalty as a food blog, though I write a lot about food. By some measures, such as its recent inclusion by the Herald Sun in its article on the best food blogs in Melbourne, Fitzroyalty is viewed as a food blog. By other measures, Fitzroyalty is not really a food blog, though it is kindly included in @Aussiefoodblogs‘ exhaustive list of Australian food blogs. The rules require at least a 50% focus on food, but with over 300 of my more than 1400 posts about food, Fitzroyalty has been included as I have written many more food posts than many food blogs have posts.

The two main areas of focus in food blogging are cooking recipes and restaurant reviewing. I don’t do recipe posts but I do a lot of cafe and restaurant reviewing. In discussions with other food bloggers I have identified two other areas of food blogging that are less common but arguably extremely useful areas to write about for readers – information about shops and where to buy ingredients and information about growing food.

The community gardening, urban gardening, permaculture and guerrilla gardening movements provide a lot of content about producing food, but they’re not usually considered food bloggers. Maybe this should change? I’d be interested to hear what people think on this subject.

The other category – what shops stock and where to find ingredients – has vast potential and few people are doing it. @jetsettingjoyce does some excellent shopping posts, including reviews of Minh Phat in Abbotsford and Organic Wholefoods in Fitzroy.

I’m going to do more stories like this in future. Right now, I’m thinking about cooking my pork sausages.

shopping in Fitzroy – Largo butcher on Brunswick St

8 thoughts on “shopping in Fitzroy – Largo butcher on Brunswick St

  • 31 October 2009 at 12:19 am
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    Though I confess to thinking you push some controversies unnecessarily, by golly, you do some beautiful work for the local community’s online presence. I really respect that. Go you!

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    • 31 October 2009 at 12:45 am
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      Thanks – whatever else you may think of me I appreciate that you see that my enthusiasm for local things is genuine, which it is!

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  • 31 October 2009 at 9:51 am
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    Yep, community gardens and growing food should be included in the criteria of food blogs as food cannot be completely divorced from the environment from which it comes.
    Part of the problem with poor eating habits and obesity in current times is that people are presented with fully processed, homogenised foods and don’t have to consider the methods used to produce the finished product or from where it comes – or even wonder if the business from where they buy their food has passed hygiene standards.
    If, however, the growing/production of food, food miles, organics, etc, were included in food blogs (and restaurant/cafe reviews) people would be more educated and, hopefully, make an effort.

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  • 28 January 2010 at 11:53 am
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    I love Largo! It opens about 4am (because it’s mainly a restaurant supplier) so I can conveniently shop before work. And the range it’s small at all – it’s just hidden! The selection in the shop window is a bit limited, but pretty much anything you need / want / deparately desire (in my case, most recently, 2 kgs of beef cheeks and a slab of pork belly) can be procured from ‘out the back’.
    Perfect steak sandwich? Rye and Caraway bread from Babka and a steak from Largo.

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  • 30 August 2010 at 7:10 pm
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    So…is there a tag that we can use to look through your blog at what other business in the Fitzroy vicinity sell hard to find ingredients? …I didn’t see another post specifically on this…

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    • 30 August 2010 at 8:01 pm
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      That’s because like with a lot of other ideas, I’ve not written as series of posts yet on shopping. I will tag them if I do.

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  • 18 April 2011 at 8:45 pm
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    Steaks are my passion. After trying the best butchers in Melbourne and looking for the most tasty, well aged steak, i came across Largo Butchers. They boned me out a one and half month aged on the bone rump steak. It was the best steak i have ever had. Forget going to the finest restaurants Largo Butchers has ‘The Best’! I commend you Brian on your great work. Keep up it up!

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    • 18 April 2011 at 10:01 pm
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      Thanks – I like supporting the businesses around me that make living here so enjoyable!

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