Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Making Cheese in Somalia

This was sent to us by our new friend, Mohamed Jesow (pictured at right).

Dear Ricki;

Happy New Year to you and your team at It was great dealing with you last year and I look forward to again ordering more supplies from you this year.

Really, the cheesemaking book (Home Cheese Making), rennet and some other supplies that I ordered from you last year was beneficial to us in starting our cheese making venture at Tropical Village Farms in Somalia, East Africa.

I have attached some pictures of our farm and some samples of our cheese making which I believe we can still improve and experiment in making some other types of cheese.

Tropical Village Farms is part of the Tropical Village properties located in Somalia, East Africa. The property is located on a vast piece of land, about 240 acres in size and has farming, hotel, residentials and a school.

Please see for more pictures.

The Farm provides food for the Tropical Village resort. What the farm provides includes milk, cheese, vegetables, eggs, honey and meats. It also provides mangoes along with other fruits such as grape fruits, limes, guavas and papayas.

In commemoration of my school, Southwestern University of Oklahoma, formerly Central State University, we have named our ranch Oklahoma Cattle Ranch.

In our farm, we have a cheese maker whose name is Joseph "The Cheese Maker." The Cheese Maker is from the old school of Italian cheesemaking. But it is a long time since he was at the top of his trade and he is just beginning to reach there once more.

Given the colonial history of Somalia, we have a cultural heritage largely influenced by Italian culture special in the areas of food and kitchen- "Cuccina Italo-Somalo" as we call it.

You might know that on top of the rich Italian food culture is "Spaghetti e' Formaggio" or in English- Spaghetti and Cheese.

Among the cheeses we are working hard to perfect is the Parmigiano-Reggiano, Strechino, Pecorino, Romano, Ricotta and Mozzarella. The kind of cheese you see in the previous pictures is Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan in English.

I think Parmigiano-Reggiano originated from the town of Parma in Italy. We basically make it from unpasteurized cow's milk.

The country has been in civil strife for sometime now and we at the Tropical Village Farms are picking up the pieces and trying to revive the cheese producing industry again.

We are glad to have met the NE Cheesemaking Supply Co. through the internet and we look forward to dealing and at the same time learning new methods from you in future.

In fact, thanks to the quality of the rennet and cheese coloring we got from you last year, our cheese quality was much better than previous years.

Thanks again


Note: The cow was being milked by Dr. Aweys Ali, our veterinary doctor at Tropical Village Farms.


Umi said...

Mashallah Mohamed!
Despite the civil strife, you all have done a great job!

Sara said...

Interesting post--it's nice to hear some happy stories from Somalia too!

ismahan said...

incredible, atleast someone has put there thinking caps on, we hope that all the people in somaila think you are a role model to them and i wish you all the best for the futher. ... :D