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Buffalo mozzarella

Buffalo mozzarella
Buffalo mozzarella is a typical cheese from the provinces of Caserta and Salerno, in Campania. The production of this dairy product also takes place in southern Lazio and upper Puglia, even if the provinces of Caserta and Salerno alone represent 90% of the certified DOP production.

The term DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, that is Protected Designation of Origin) recognizes the typicality of buffalo mozzarella from Campania, which derives from particular environmental conditions and traditional processing methods, peculiar to this specific production area. Not all dairies therefore obtain the DOP certification and mark; in fact, not only must they possess the right requisites, but over time they are subjected to continuous checks in order to guarantee compliance with the required quality standards. Today the DOP mark is therefore a guarantee mark for consumers, who can count on a high quality product and unmistakable flavor; not only that, because the DOP brand also allows you to distinguish between non-certified mozzarella and original buffalo mozzarella. Buffalo mozzarella from Campania has become the most important DOP brand in south Italy.

This type of mozzarella probably originated with the introduction in southern Italy, around the year 1000, of buffaloes by the Normans. Soon buffaloes spread more and more but it is only from the XVII century that there is news of the production of dairy products obtained with buffalo milk, such as "ricotta", "provole" and "mozzarella". It was then thanks to the Bourbons that at the end of the XVIII century the first example of a company specialized in the breeding of buffaloes for the production of milk was born in the province of Caserta.
Buffalo Mozzarella with Tomatoes
As regards the breeding of buffalo, it should also be said that in recent years there has been important transformations that have led to the transition from an extensive type of breeding to a limited one in space, in order to favor and improve the various phases productive.

Buffalo Mozzarella is a fresh, stretched curd cheese made using only fresh Italian buffalo milk. The word "mozzarella" derives from the verb "mozzare", that is to cut, and it is an operation still carried out today in dairies, where the piece of spun curd is detached with the hands to make the individual mozzarella. The typical round shape of mozzarella is thus obtained.

Once milked, milk is delivered to the dairy within 60 hours of milking and heated to 33-36 ° C. A natural whey obtained from the same processing of the previous day is then added to the milk. The curd is then obtained from the coagulated milk which, after maturation, is spun and then made into small pieces, in different shapes and sizes. The spunning operation, which makes use of a ladle and a wooden stick, consists in working the cheese paste by hand until it is "spun" and thus obtaining a homogeneous mixture. At this point the mozzarella is immersed in cold water for a few minutes and then put in brine to give the product the right degree of flavor.
Pizza with buffalo mozzarella
Even today, in most of dairies, mozzarella is still hand-cut by cheesemakers. Otherwise, machines are used that can produce mozzarella of predetermined size and weight. Its shape is typically rounded, but other shapes are also provided. Even the weight can vary between 10 and 800 gr, up to 3 kg for braided shapes (by intertwining the stretched curd until the characteristic final shape is obtained). On average, about 4 liters of buffalo milk are needed to produce one kilogram of mozzarella.

This is how Mozzarella di Bufala DOP is obtained, with a smooth surface, a strong flavor, but at the same time delicate, rich in lactic ferments. The peculiar characteristics of buffalo milk, combined with the still artisan processing make this product an Italian excellence recognized all over the world.

It should be remembered that buffalo milk, unlike that of cow or sheep, has a different composition. For this reason, the type of cheese obtained also has peculiar characteristics: it is, for example, richer in proteins, fats and calcium. A variant of Campana DOP buffalo mozzarella is the “smoked” one, which follows a traditional and natural manufacturing process.

The buffalo mozzarella must be kept in a cool place and left in the water with which it is sold in order to preserve its unmistakable taste. Once placed in the refrigerator, it is preferable to consume it after having brought it to room temperature. If normally eaten fresh, mozzarella can also be used as an ingredient for the preparation of numerous recipes, such as pizza.

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