Smoky, salty, rich, dense and meaty - these cured sausages are not for amateurs. In fact, they’re expertly crafted in Canmore by the von Rotz family. Chimney sticks are made with hand trimmed beef and pork, then smoked with Birchwood for a week and finally hung to dry. It’s a labour intensive process, but at Valbella, it’s the process that makes the product (although the clean fresh mountain air doesn’t hurt).
Nowadays, Valbella (meaning beautiful valley in Swiss German) has moved to a 25,000 square foot production facility and deli overlooking the Three Sisters, and is largely run by brother and sister team Jeff and Chantal von Rotz. Otherwise, not too much has changed. “Technology can’t speed things up,” says Jeff. At Valbella, it’s the process that makes the product. Both Jeff and Chantal have spent time in their parents’ native Switzerland, and the company always has one or two Swiss butchers on staff. Meats are hand trimmed, smoked with birchwood and hung in the clean, fresh air to cure. Some products take weeks to make (anyone for double smoked bacon?), while other products (like the ever-popular bundnerfleisch) take months. Our suggestion? Stock up on chimney sticks now and enjoy the unique European flavour of Valbella.