Saturday, April 18, 2009
A visit to the Mediterranean Wholesalers
It's Australia's largest continental foodstore, not where you can get a 12 pack of seas or Greek islands.
Lots of different foods and cuisines are catered for, but it is predominantly Italian, Greek, and eastern Mediterranean. You'll hear impenetrable Sicilian accents slides into broad Aussie mid-sentence here.
...so that must mean there's Pasta, right? Yes. 25 metres or more of pasta. Little mushroom jars of mushrooms, and black clad grandmothers barricading off the good stuff at one end, and setting the evil-eye on anyone after the interesting pasta shapes (or grandsons who don't show respect).
Which, of course, requires a good deal of olive oil. Mmmmm.
And cheese. Honest, it is cheese. Mozzarella!
But hold the fish, today at least.
These are Stock Fish. Presumably you use them to scrub your back in the bath. Or something. We just grab a couple of salamis from here and move on.
Then there's biscotti and the like. Unfortunately many Italian biscuits contain traces of huge nuts embedded in them, so they're not a great hit with Bev.
Eyeing up some of the biscuits. Well, wouldn't you? Careful though, because behind him is:
Yes, it's Chilli Lady! (One of the lesser known superhero pantheon because her agent hasn't got her the best gigs, or indeed the best skintight outfight, either, in fact. However she's scary.) Mess with her and she'll heave a giant chilli from her head onto yours. Presumably these are used in some kind of Italian ritual. The 'gift to lower the neighbourhood tone' kind. Today we decided that she may be a tribal memory of the Minoan snake goddesses who held snakes in each hand - of course most snakes are much milder than chillis when cooked.
And then there's the booze section. Remember, folks, Italian wine has to come a long way to get here and is the premium product; not as I remember the vino da tavola of my youth.
One of the secrets of the Med Wholesalers is the fact that they serve the best cappuccino in Melbourne. (This is no easy achievement, Melbourne being a place that takes it's coffee extremely seriously - and the competition is cutthroat.)
It may not look fancy, but the coffee's done on the spot, by a man who can knock out a couple of cappuccinos in seconds and rattle the spoons down in the saucers and the chocolate on before you've got your change out. And in Italian, too.
Of course you'll need a bun with that, won't you? It's hard shopping, after all.
I had the chocolate-stuffed cannelloni (they sell the cases should you wish to make your own at home).
While Bev suffered with a ricotta and raspberry tart. "It was really good." she reports.
Makes shopping a pleasure.