I have a bit of a Deli curse at the moment 🙁 Every once in a while, I get a hankering for some tasty and hot salami, some nice cheese, and an appleÂ for a light meal instead of a cooked dinner. Lately, that has also been supplemented with marinated capsicum pieces, but that’s not part of the basic requirements.
It’s got to be good cheese, not your standard supermarket rubbish; Wensleydale, Red Leicester, Rocquefort, Stilton, a good quality CamembertÂ or Brie and Jarlsberg all fit the bill. Lately, I’ve also been taken by Kefalograviera, but it’s not something that I can eat too much of. The salami has to be hot but also tasty; again,Â not pre-sliced supermarket rubbish. You’ve got to find a good deli and build a relationship with the people working there so that you can get the good stuff when you need it.
I had three places I go too; the one in the Marrickville Metro, which is convenient from home, and has good salami and a decent range of most cheeses except for the English ones. The Newtown Deli, which has the English cheeses; the Broadway Shopping center Deli which has a very nice hot spanish salami, doesn’t stock much in the way of cheese, but is extremely convenient from work. This week, I’ve had problems with all three.
Firstly, the Metro Deli is closed for renovations. Secondly, the Broadway Deli is closed for good and replaced by a generic music retailer. Finally, the Newtown Deli has no English cheeses and can’t say when or if, they’ll be able to get them back. Apparently, the importers can’t/won’t deliver! Maybe it’s too hard to get into the country or too expensiveor something 🙁
I’ll obviously have to explore over in Leichhardt on the weekend to see if there’s any stores there that I can get my fix at.
Thinking of shopping centres, Bobbie was saying that Bunnings is open on New Years Day, next year, and that they’re looking for staff to work (good luck with that 🙂 ). Apparently the reason is that there’s one store in a shopping centre that will be open because the centre will be imposing massive fines on stores that don’t open when it wants them to. Bunings corporate policy means that all other stores across the nation must also open that day.
I’ve been noticing how much control the Broadway shopping centre imposes on the stores it leases space to. There’s been a rash of forced remodellings in progress; probably the same deal with the deli at the Metro. It seems that, every other week, another store closes its doors for a month or so. Some, including the Sanity franchise, just upped and left. According to a staff member, the constraints forced by the centre were too restrictive and expensive for it to be worth Sanity’s while to remain there.
I was shocked to discover when we arrived in London, so close to the source for all manner of cheesy deliciousness: the Brie de Meaux, the Roy de Vallee, the Wensleydale, the Stilton, the Ossau Iraty.
Sadly when we got here we discovered that all these cheeses, and many, many more, are mass-produced supermarket cheeses. They may not be rubbish, exactly, but any food produced on such a scale is suspect, in my book.
That being said, there are normally cheese-makers in the regions where all these fine cheeses are made (who are therefore legally permitted to give their cheese the local name) who might run a herd of only a few dozen, maybe, sheep, goats, or cows and who therefore can’t make enough cheese to satisfy the ever-hungry maw of the supermarket. They might sell their milk on to other, larger, cheese-makers, but if they choose to make their own cheese, you can often find wonderful, small-run, artisanal varieties. These are often the unpasteurised super-tasty cheeses where the cheese-makers’ art can really show what it’s capable of, but sadly these cheeses don’t travel very much, mostly because of draconian food-purity laws.
Practically, though, to buy cheese, I used to go to the Fox farmers’ market on a Saturday morning – there were a couple of excellent cheese stalls there: David and Virginia Carr were wonderful and knowledgeable (especially about local producers) and generous. They ran a cheese-shop in Alexandria for a bit (opened after we left the country, and is now closed already, I believe), but they had a great market stall, and there was another there which was also very good. Simon Johnson on Harris St had a very fine cheese-room, I assume they still do. La Paesanella on Gerald St, down the end just past the warehouse, have fantastic Italian cheeses (Gorgonzola dolce! yum!) and they make the freshest, best ricotta you’ll find anywhere. In fact a lot of the tosser cheese-shops in Sydney buy theirs, slap a great big new price tag on and re-sell it. There is, I believe, a very good cheese-room downstairs at the Martin Place GPO thingy. There was, anyway.
The http://www.australiancheese.org/default.aspx website is a bit broken – I can’t get to the retailer list ATM, but you should have enough material there to find some cheese already. I strongly recommend the farmers’ market, though. Often great for an end-of-day bargain, too.
Salami? You’re on your own. There used to be a really good place in Dulwich Hill, the Kasmarosski European Smoke House (402 New Canterbury Rd), don’t know if it’s still there.
It’s frustrating not knowing these things.
I’ll have to have another look at the market on Sunday, but I don’t think they have much there in the way of cheese 🙁
I was also told (but by the guy at Newtown Deli) that Simon Johnson isn’t much good these days. Given that I’ve never been there, I should still go and check it out.
Ta, for the website.
You mean your local market on Sunday? I certainly didn’t see much when I went there. But the one at Fox Studios on a Saturday was definitely worth a look, if you can be bothered going that far (it’s not that far, really!) There always used to be a Pyrmont farmers’ market, too, didn’t there? Maybe that’s good, but I never went.
yep – the one at the the Marrickville Community Centre. It’s getting bigger – I always get my bread there, and some veges and eggs. There’s also a place called Saltbrush Meats, occasionally fresh and smoked fish from down Tumut way.
Unfortunately, there’s only one coffee stand, which gets quite busy, so I am more often putting on a pot of coffee on Sundays now (and getting over-caffinated). But I can have some with Zatar on Lebanese flatbread for breakfast – a very nice combination when you have real strong coffee.
What the boy said. I suggest you go to Fox Studios, find David and Virginia and say hello from us – they are marvellous and know everything about where to source stuff, so they’re your best bet for finding something closer to home.
I thought about becoming a cheesemaker, but the initial outlay is more than 1 million dollars, so no going there…
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