In a city where authentic ingredients for your next foray into southern Mediterranean cooking can sometimes only be found in the Inner West, shopping at Sam and Nona Eguilian’s Delicatessen at the Cox’s Road Mall is like strolling through a market town in the hills of Tuscany – without the 24 hour flight and language barrier – right here in North Ryde.
Sam and Nona have been with the business since the late 80’s, having had previous delicatessens before joining the Cox’s Road Mall family. The deli stocks a range of specialty products the bigger chains just don’t carry such as macadamia nut oil, almond oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, grana padano, prosciutto, reggiano bocconcini, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella and De Cecco pasta. It’s these staples that can turn a home cooked meal from a bland Monday night dinner into a gastronomical feast worthy of a night out on Norton Street. And if cooking is not your forte, freshly made sandwiches and salads using these traditional ingredients means everyone can enjoy the authentic taste on offer.
For Sam it has been a life-long love affair with food that started from an early age watching his mum preparing meals for the family like a daily homage to their ancestral roots. He soon realised there was a whole community who needed the same ingredients to stave off the sickness that comes from being far from home, so he entered the food and beverage trade close to three decades ago.
Over the years he noticed it was not just the new Australians who were becoming his devoted customers, but a bourgeoning class of foodies had emerged who weren’t happy to settle for the status ‘meat and two veg’ quo after returning from a Mediterranean holiday, wanting to recreate the life changing dish they had perched on the cliffs of the Cinque Terre or the beaches of Santorini.
Sam and Nona are only too happy to provide an outlet for the maturing palate of the North Ryde community, bringing expert advice to the table for the novice home chef. To them, preparing food for your family is a celebration we should all be able to take part in. Being able to do it with the finest speciality ingredients is just a bonus.