There is nothing nicer than a splash of wine with some cheese and crackers … but not just any cheese.
"Paesanella" is the Italian word that means "Country peasant girl". Umberto Somma arrived in Australia in 1956; all he carried were a few shillings in his pocket and a 90 litre copper pan. In the Italian village of Pimonte in Napoli his family were renowned throughout the country for their cheese making and he intended to continue this craft.
Working nights at Wetherill Park, surrounded by an Italian community, he was able to make cheese and keep it safe from the authorities. If he was discovered he would have been reported to the health authorities.
After saving up enough money to sort out his legal problems he started the factory in Marrickville in 1962.
After Umberto died in 1988 and it’s now that his 2 sons Joseph and Max are very proud to carry on the quality, formula and vision of their Father’s product in the true Italian cheese making fashion.
Jo 33 years of age is in charge of the day to day running of the business and employs 11 fulltime staff at Marrickville and 3 in Haberfield. His brother Max is head of production.
Some places you can find Paesanella Cheese are David Jones deli section; QANTAS; Beppe’s Restaurant and Mezaluma Restaurant; and next time you are aboard a P&O Cruise.
At the factory in Marrickville there is a retail area but 3 years ago due to popularity and demand Jo and Max opened a Paesanella Cheese Shop in Haberfield. They stock the full range of cheese, and if you ask nicely they’ll let you can try before you buy!
The walls in this store present the awards and articles that tell the story of Paesanella Cheese. More on the up market side of things compared to the little store along side the Factory.
The most popular cheese would be Bocconcini and the Ricotta. In the many awards they have won, Bocconcini wins most Gold, whereas the Ricotta seems to attract the Silver award.
Paesanella produces 14 fresh cheeses in the Marrickville factory: Bocconcini, Caciotta Rocket/Chilli, Caciotta Plain, Cherry Bocconcini, Fior Di Latte, Fresco, Mascarpone, Mozzarella, Provola Affumicato, Ricotta, Ricotta Baked, Ricotta Dry, Scamorza, Stracchinv.