AUSTRALIA'S cultural competition to find a national dish has a surprise new entrant from central Victoria.
Daylesford reckons the bullboar sausage is uniquely Aussie and a worthy rival to Anzac biscuits, Vegemite, pavlova, lamingtons and Bendigo's Chiko roll.
"It should be on our coat of arms," Daylesford butcher Danny Wanke said.
The dark, mottled sausage came to the region along with its founding inhabitants, Swiss-Italians who were more intent on gold nuggets than recipes.
Close to 4000 young Swiss-Italian migrants brought with them a national love of spicy Italian sausages but found the wild Australian bush bereft of the key ingredients.
What they did have - in this cosmopolitan triangle of Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Newstead - was an abundance of Chinese market gardeners.
The goldfields butchers adapted the recipe to Chinese spices and invented today's unique bullboar sausage.
Mr Wanke, from the Albert Street Butchery, sells between 30 and 40 kilograms of bullboars a week.
A hog sausage casing is filled with ultra-lean beef combined with rich pork, red wine, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg cloves, cinnamon, mixed spices, cloves, pimento and probably a few other ingredients he was keeping secret.
People barbecue the sausages in the traditional way, many also boil them and slice them into a pasta, and some smoke or dry them by hanging them in their sheds.
"It could be our national dish for sure," Mr Wanke said.
"People around here don't see them as an acquired taste although some new people might find them pretty spicy."