• The fritz and sauce sanga is a classic way to eat bung fritz. (Barossa Fine Foods)Source: Barossa Fine Foods
It would be hard to find a South Australian who doesn’t know what bung fritz is and who didn’t grow up eating it.
Audrey Bourget

22 May 2018 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 14 Feb 2019 - 12:51 PM

"Every time you go to a South Australian butcher, your children are offered a piece of bung fritz. So as a child, every time my mum went to the butcher, we all tagged along for that slice of fritz,” recalls Tash Fitzgerald, a Port Pirie local.

“Coles and Woolworths sell it, but it’s not as nice as the one from the butcher. My children can tell the difference between the two. They’ll always come to the butcher with me to get some, they love it.”

Rich blend of meat trimmings

Bung fritz, sometimes only called fritz, is made of a blend of meat trimmings encased in an orange sheep appendix, colloquially called bung. The meat blend usually contains pork (for richness and smoothness), as well as beef, lamb and/or veal. It’s bonded with water and flour, and mixed with spices like nutmeg and ginger. Every butcher makes fritz slightly differently.

“It’s the sheep bung that gives the fritz its unique look and taste,” explains Franz Knoll, founder of Barossa Fine Foods, and chair of the National Smallgoods Council. “It’s the only place in the world where we make a product like that.”

“It’s the sheep bung that gives the fritz its unique look and taste."

The bung fritz can be sliced and eaten as it is, fried in a pan or even added to a salad. Another popular way to enjoy fritz is in a sandwich with tomato sauce, known as the fritz and sauce sandwich.

It might not look like much, but South Australians can't get enough of bung fritz.

Knoll tells SBS it’s believed that a German man named Fritz invented the bung fritz in the late 1880s or early 1890s: “Rumour has it that Fritz worked for either Conrad’s Butcher, a German butcher on Hindley Street, or another German butcher in Lobethal.”

Preserving the integrity of the bung fritz

Knoll is part of a group gathered by the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) to celebrate and recognise the fritz as uniquely South Australian. They want the fritz to join other foods like Farmer’s Unions Iced Coffee, Balfours Frog Cakes and Haigh’s Chocolate, on the South Australian Heritage Icons List. 

"As a child, every time my mum went to the butcher, we all tagged along for that slice of fritz.”

“It’s also about making sure that we’re keeping the quality and standards as high as we can,” Knoll says.

The group is considering looking into an appellation for the fritz, like the French “Appellation d’origine contrôlée”, a geographical certification given to certain foods and drinks like Champagne, Roquefort cheese and Poulet de Bresse (poultry of Bresse).

“It’s South Australian and should be produced locally,” says Knoll.

As somebody who has spent her life in South Australia, Tash Fitzgerald is on board with making bung fritz into an icon: “I think it’s a great idea making it an icon of South Australia. You wouldn’t find many South Aussie kids who didn’t grow up eating fritz sandwiches.” 

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Images: Barossa Fine Foods

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