18 Sep 2020
For authentic oozy, melty mozzarella, Napoli is where it’s at. Unexpectedly however, it’s also being hand-made – along with other incredible Italian cheeses – in a tiny corner store in a Victoria Park shopping centre. Here’s what you need to know about La Delizia Latticini.
Domenico (Dom) Boccia knows a thing or two about truly great mozzarella. And he should! As a Napolitano (someone local to the Italian city of Napoli) he was born into a family of cheesemakers in a region widely credited as being world’s finest – and first – producers of the cheese.
Originally made from the rich milk of water buffalos (mozzarella di bufala), today mozzarella is more commonly made from cow’s milk (fior di latte) and is soft, creamy and mild-flavoured. Once made, it’s meant to be eaten within a few days – the sooner the better, although as Dom explains, in Napoli fresh mozzarella rarely makes it through the day.
“I love mozzarella the best – it’s the cheese I would eat the most at home,” shares Dom. “In Italy we will eat mozzarella fresh almost every day. Usually there is nothing left over, but if there is, my mamma will only use it through pasta. To eat it fresh, it has to be on the day it is made.
The authentic stuff is a far cry from the solid lumps of vac-packed curd you find on supermarket shelves. Dom’s cheeses are as authentic as they come, and the mozzarella is just one in an all-star line-up of truly incredible cow’s milk cheeses – burrata, stracciatella, ricotta and primo sale are all made by hand using only fresh local ingredients at La Delizia Latticini, the boutique cheese lab Dom and his wife Kirsty opened in January 2020.
“I come from a family of cheesemakers, and I knew I wanted to do this one day, but until the beginning of this year it wasn’t possible,” says Dom, who arrived from Napoli seven years ago.
“When I came to Perth I had just two backpacks, and my English wasn’t so good, so I started to do furniture removals. I did that for seven years, but I didn’t forget my dream of opening my own cheese shop.”
Quickly, the shop has attracted a loyal following of cheese lovers who come for the authentic Italian favourites, and delight in watching them being hand-made through the cheese lab’s glass walls. But Kirsty and Dom don’t go it alone. Charismatic award-wining cheese maker, Antonio Caroli (or Zio Bello, as he’s more affectionately known), is an essential part of the team and entertains passers-by as he stretches the fresh mozzarella, moulds the ricotta, stirs the stracciatella and balls the burrata – all with flamboyant Italian flair.
“The idea behind the glass walls was to let everyone see what we do so we can teach them – show people how real, fresh cheese is made,” explains Dom.
Currently churning through over 1000 liters of milk a day, and making over 100 kilograms of cheese, Dom is now looking to expand his production to a larger site. But for now, you can still watch the team at work, and get your hands on the full range, at La Delizia Latticini’s shop front in Hawaiian’s Park Centre in Victoria Park.
Alternatively, pop in to The Black Truffle to try the fresh mozzarella, burrata and ricotta. We guarantee you won’t regret it!