Their attention to detail and passion for the craft is a big part of why the Newton producers’ parmesan has been announced as one of three finalists in the hard cheese category at the prestigious Australian Grand Dairy Awards.
“Cheese has been our life, it’s in our blood,” Sabrina Marmorale, 38, says.
“It’s what we talk about at the table at dinner time, it’s what we talk about during the day, I don’t get sick of it.”
Her parents Giovanna and Pino founded La Vera Fine Cheese in Newton 33 years ago.
It began with a small shop on Payneham Rd in St Peters before being relocated to a factory on Hamilton Tce in Newton.
As the business expanded that single property became two, then three.
“I’ve been in the business pretty much my whole life,” Sabrina says.
“After school I remember walking from Paradise Primary School to the factory (in Newton) to come and work.
“My standout memory is grating cheese; that was my job every day after school.”
After finishing school Sabrina and sister Lucy continued working in the factory and cheese shop.
The family’s award finalist, the La Vera Parmesan, takes up to three years of ageing to perfect.
“It’s a lovely feeling to know that duration is worth it … you don’t really know until the end how it’s going to turn out,” Sabrina says.
“We put a lot of love and effort into making each product.”
Sabrina describes the parmesan’s flavour as nutty and robust.
“(It’s) perfect to have on its own with red grapes and fresh figs and of course a lovely bottle of wine,” she says.
The winning cheese will be announced in February.
Now in their 19th year, the awards feature a panel of 24 judges testing about 400 cheeses from across the country.
The community can have a say in the people’s choice category by voting at peopleschoiceaward.legendairy.com.au
La Vera’s shop is at 16-18 Hamilton Tce, Newton.