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Mozzarella isn’t just a cheese, it’s a work of art—at least the way it’s made at Casa Della Mozzarella in the Bronx. Located on the corner of 187th Street and Arthur Avenue, the beloved Italian deli is helmed by father-son duo Orazio and Carlo Carciotto. Armed with little more than a pot of boiling water, a few pinches of salt, and an old wooden oar, the Carciottos pride themselves on turning blocks of lifeless cheese curds into molten cascades of creamy mozzarella. The shop is a stalwart in the Belmont section of the Bronx, and Carlo, in particular, was raised in the Italian enclave of Arthur Avenue—a strip of storefronts and restaurants increasingly referred to as NYC’s “real” Little Italy. In this special installment of Food Skills, Carlo gives a behind-the-scenes tour of one of New York’s most legendary neighborhoods, while Orazio breaks down the secrets to his uniquely American success story. In NYC, it’s not difficult to a find a delicious pizza margherita, or a mind-blowing chicken parmigiana, but here, at Casa Della Mozzarella, cheese isn’t just an ingredient, but a bucket-list meal all its own.

Director: Jackson Connor
Producers: Jackson Connor, Tanai Milgram, Dustin Flannery-McCoy
Director of Photography: Dustin Flannery-McCoy
Editor: Dustin Flannery-McCoy
Camera Operator: David Dominguez
Sound: Michael Moote
Production Assistant: Dawn Richard

First We Feast videos offer an iconoclastic view into the culinary world, taking you behind-the-scenes with some of the country’s best chefs and finding the unexpected places where food and pop culture intersect.