La Latteria is Melbourne's first cheese-producing cheesemonger, selling cheese, milk and yoghurt.
Mixing up creamy whites in big vats and hand stretching curd is all in a day’s work for chef-turned-cheese-maker Kirsty Laird. After working in kitchens for many years, Laird teamed up with her cheese supplier, Giorgio Linguanti of That's Amore Cheese in Thomastown.
They call it a laboratory, and that's how it feels. The interior is stark white, and it smells like a milking shed. Large milk vats sit on shelves. Big wheels of parmigiano and pecorino lie in the fridge next to the pots of yoghurt and glass bottles of farm-fresh milk, which you can return after use to have sterilised and refilled.
Specialising in southern-Italian cheeses, La Latteria has a display fridge full of bocconcini, fior di latte, smoked cheese such as scamorza – a semi-soft tear-drop shaped cheese – and caciocavallo (literally "cheese on horseback", referring to the traditional maturing technique of suspending the cheese over a pole).
Bound with rope and coated in wax for a sharper, more matured flavour is the Provolone made from calf rennet; it sits next to cheese baskets full of ricotta, and buffalo mozzarella made with curd from water buffalo in northern Queensland.