So it seems that I am one of the last people in Melbourne to know about Mediterranean Wholesalers (MW) on Sydney Road. For the three people that are yet to hear about this Italian megastore…read on!
As I walked through the doors the expanse of aisles filled with every Italian treat, and a gaggle of Nonnas, hit me. It really is like being on holiday in your own town. The low hum of ladies chattering in Italian and older men shuffling about with their trolleys transports me to another place. But I am here to shop, so I get down to business.
First stop olive oil. The decisions – Spanish or Italian, cold pressed or unfiltered, 500ml or 15 litres. Next stop the pasta aisle. MW has devoted a whole aisle to every conceivable form of pasta there is and I am totally overwhelmed. The deli is hidden away down the back but in my mind is the main event. Salted fish sits alongside parmesan, taleggio, reggiano and mozarella cheese, and an array of salume, prosciutto and mortadella. In between I pick up anchovies, olive paste, tinned tomatoes, rice and sugo.
Its all a bit much so I wander over to the bakery where two ladies are selling freshly baked bread. I can’t resist hot cross buns and a loaf of wholemeal pana de casa. But then I spy the cake counter and before I know it I am sitting with a cappucino and TWO canoli – chocolate and vanilla! To be honest, the coffee is not the best I have had but at $2.50 a cup, it’s the best value I have drunk in years. The two women next to me are obviously food tourists like me and I hear them saying “The cakes are only $2, in Malvern I would pay $5 or more for this!”. I notice one customer ‘on holiday’ like me trying to converse with the barista in Italian and when he receives the desired response he is openly proud of himself.
Final stop is the bottleshop. My current favourite variety is Soave and it is definitely stocked at MW. You can also pick up a great limoncello, sangiovese, barolo, prosecco and even the old Aussie 80’s favourite, the Asti Riccadona.
My final bill was not that big as the prices are pretty reasonable. It’s well worth a trip to Mediterranean Wholesalers, even if only for the canoli.
482-492 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC
Telephone 03 9380 4777