Pleasing Cheeses

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By Mary McConville

St Kilda has two convenient cheese shops for its resident turophiles. There is La Formeggeria (Italian for The Cheese Shop and/or Factory) at 70 Acland St and Milk The Cow at 154 Fitzroy St.

You can cast your eyes over the (Swiss cheese) eyes in the window at La Formeggeria. It is run by two sisters Katia and Sabrina Cappodocio who come from an Italian cheese making family long established in Fossanova. This shop has its own micro cheese lab so that some of the cheese can be made on the premises. There are plans to make buffalo mozzarella with milk brought down from Queensland. The food miles are necessary as tropical buffaloes do not do well in temperate Victoria.

Though it is closed in for reasons of hygiene the lab is visible from the counter so that  the customer can view both the finished product and the cheese making process.

This shop sells more than dairy products. The customer can buy their whole day’s food here should they wish to do so. For breakfast there are juices, muesli, nut spreads, honey and jam for your toast, tea, coffee and regular and non-dairy milks. Lunch might be panini and an Italian soft drink. In the evening the customer can dine on some of their take-away food.

The food should be good for you. It has been chosen by a local nutritional expert called “Nutrition Darling”. The Cappodocio sisters say that the food should be “poco ma sano (small but healthy)”

La Formaggeria is open from 8 am to 7 pm during the week. Weekend hours are 7.30 am till 6.30 pm.

Milk The Cow (at 157 Fitzroy St.) runs to a completely different timetable. Their hours are better suited to the night owls who flutter forth dazed and bleary eyed long after the sun has risen. Milk The Cow open its doors at noon and stays open till “late”. The actual closing time is most likely determined by the ebb and flow of its nightly customers.

Mostly the shop is open from Tuesday to Sunday. It’s usually closed on Monday except for any specially organised events.

The special events at Milk The Cow sound quite interesting. They can instruct you in matching cheese not just with wine, its classic partner, but with other alcohol. You can also take tips from a celebrity chef or indulge in some retro fun with a fondue session to beguile the cold winter evenings. If you enjoy the products and services at the St Kilda outlet of Milk The Cow,you may also wish to visit their Carlton store at 323 Lygon St.

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