DAILY GRIND

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Mas­simo Lu­bisco has been an ac­coun­tant, a light and sound tech­ni­cian for the­atre, a com­puter pro­gram­mer and a cam­era­man.

When he moved to Auck­land with fi­ancee Marina Marchenko in 2006, they started Ital­ian Cheeses be­cause they no­ticed a gap in the mar­ket for locally pro­duced moz­zarella.

Their prod­uct is made us­ing cow’s milk be­cause they pre­fer the taste. But they find that some peo­ple think it has to be made from buf­falo milk to be authen­tic.

‘‘Many peo­ple think moz­zarella is only buf­falo moz­zarella. I try to ex­plain that it’s not as com­mon in Italy as moz­zarella made from cows’ milk,’’ he says.

The cou­ple also pro­duce ri­cotta as well as scamorza, boc­concini and mar­zot­ica in smaller quan­ti­ties.

Their ri­cotta won gold and their moz­zarella picked up a bronze award at the 2012 Cui­sine New Zealand Cham­pi­ons of Cheese Award.

When they started the busi­ness Mr Lu­bisco thought he would spend a cou­ple of years mak­ing cheese and then re­turn to Puglia. But it has proved a more dif­fi­cult busi­ness than he an­tic­i­pated.

‘‘It only takes a cou­ple of months to learn to make a qual­ity moz­zarella but be­ing able to mas­ter­fully mould the cheese by hand takes longer,’’ he says.

What’s more, in or­der to cre­ate moz­zarella’s chewy tex­ture the cheese must be stretched in wa­ter at a tem­per­a­ture of 90 de­grees.

‘‘It’s not easy to ad­just to putting your hands in the ex­tremely hot wa­ter.’’

Mr Lu­bisco uses gloves but this is un­com­mon in Italy.

‘‘If the wa­ter is too hot or

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