An icon of the local Italian community and foodies in the know, Paesanella is a cheese store located at the heart of the Haberfield shopping district. It’s an area I like to refer to as a little Italy away from Little Italy (Norton St, Leichhardt). The same could be said of Five Dock as well, though I digress.
Paesanella manufacturers a variety of fresh Italian cheeses from their factory in Marrikville. This includes (among many others) bocconcini, superbly smooth ricotta, decadently rich mascarpone, as well as my hamper selection of fresh buffalo mozzarella.
They also stock a good selection of hard and semi-hard cheeses (the parmigiano-reggiano is one of my personal favourites), an assortment of antipasto and other pantry goods, no doubt selected to complement their core product.
The taste and texture is not what you may expect if all you’ve experienced is supermarket variety mozzarella. The fresh buffalo mozzarella tastes of milk, with a slight sour, buttery edge to it. It has a texture that is somewhat springy and a little spongy with a luxurious mouth feel; worlds away from the rubbery rennet-rendered rounds.
Try saying that ten times fast :P
Now, at $5.50 for each luscious lobe of lactic love, one could argue that at these prices, why bother? One could. However, I would ask that you reserve judgement until you’ve had the opportunity to experience one.
I’m not so well off to consider this an everyday food item, so I can appreciate if the cost may seem a little much. However, if you do decide to make the investment, treat the product with a little respect. It doesn’t take a lot. Some of your best extra virgin olive oil and a fresh grind or two of black pepper is a good start. Perhaps some ripe tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Maybe even melted on a homemade pizza base with tomato sauce and fresh herbs. Whatever the selection, simple is best.
Part 3 of 4 on the horizon…