buffalo mozzarella
25 June 2018   •   Marcella Scialla

Buffalo mozzarella from Campania: the white gold that conquers the world

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«Fresh, tasty and genuine: it is the Buffalo Mozzarella from Campania Dop. One of the most appreciated Made in Italy  gastronomic products and one of the most wanted, both in Italy and all over the world»

When we talk about the gastronomic excellence of our beautiful country it is impossible not to think of her. The Buffalo Mozzarella from Campania (Mozzarella di Bufala Campana), which is obtained strictly with buffalo milk and with the addition of salt and rennet, and which can present itself, as well as in its typical round shape, also in the form of nibbles, knots and braids, or in its smoked variant. It is undoubtedly the queen of fresh cheese of the Italian tables.

Before discovering any curiosity about it, let’s get to know her better!

A bit of history of the Buffalo Mozzarella

The birth of Buffalo Mozzarella has very ancient origins. In fact, it goes back to the year 1000 and is closely linked to the introduction of the buffalo in Italy. It is thought that its name derives from the verb “cut off” and indicates the operation with which the pasta filata is manually cut by the cheese makers. It is strange to think that this product, so appreciated today, at the beginning was nothing more than a by- product of the provola. In fact, its qualities were scarcely considered due to the difficulties of conservation and marketing linked to the fact it was a fresh product, which made it possible to consume it only within a restricted circuit. Following the unification of Italy, instead, with the improvement of roads and rail networks, the mozzarella began to cross the borders of Campania and could therefore be appreciated in other regions of the peninsula.

The Consorzio di Tutela and the DOP brand

In 1981 the Consortium for the Protection of Buffalo Mozzarella ( Consortium site ) was established with the aim of protecting and promoting its production and trade, both in Italy and abroad, as well as defending its name. In 1996, in fact, The Buffalo Mozzarella Campana obtained the prestigious Dop brand, with which the mozzarella has been recognized as having the peculiar organoleptic and merchandise characteristics, derived from the environmental conditions and traditional methods of processing existing in the specific area of ​​production. In addition to the specific nature of the raw material used, another essential characteristic must be that of the relationship between product and the territory of production. According to the strict regulations of the brand, in addition to Campania (in particular the provinces of Caserta and Salerno), the production areas also include some provinces of Lazio and Puglia, and the municipality of Venafro, in Molise. The Buffalo Mozzarella is the most important Dop brand in central and southern Italy, the fourth at a national level in terms of production and the third among Italian PDO cheeses.

Boom of export

Yeah, everyone really wants it … and how to blame them! A great source of all-Italian pride, Buffalo Mozzarella is increasingly appreciated and sought by gourmets all over the world. Just in 2017 there was a real boom in exports of the product, which reached staggering numbers. In addition to France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe, the request from countries far more distant, such as the United States and China, began to become more and more important, but transport was more expensive and complex. In order to fully satisfy the desire for mozzarella in the world, the Consortium therefore decided to give the go-ahead to a new regulation that provides for five types of product, all with a protected designation of origin: “hand-worked”, “smoked”, “Frozen” (intended for export to the most distant countries),” exclusively for professional use and not intended for the final consumer” and ” lactose-free”. Solutions that keep an eye on the market, without losing sight of the quality of the product.

Halal and kosher Buffalo Mozzarella

The Consortium, increasingly attentive to the needs of consumers, could not but respond to the growing demand from Muslim consumers. In order to meet the needs of the latter, halal certified mozzarella was born (which in Arabic means “lawful”), carried out in compliance with Islamic laws and conforming to the dictates of the Koran and Sharia. The halal version of the Buffalo Mozzarella does not involve differences in the finished product, but in the production process, which sees the use of products without alcohol for cleaning the plants and certified halal rennet. The Consortium is also committed to obtaining the kosher certification (in Hebrew it means “suitable”, “good”), in order to finally satisfy even the palates of Jewish consumers.

Some curiosities about Buffalo Mozzarella

The Buffalo Mozzarella PDO has also conquered international movie and music stars. It’s enough to to think of Robert De Niro who declared that during his visit he appreciated it a lot to Italy and then missed it terribly once he left, or the Rolling Stones who savored it during the Lucca Summer Festival, in a menu taken care of by the starred chef Gennaro Esposito. This instead is really curious: in 2008 the first Championship of Buffalo Mozzarella Dop was held. The winner managed to eat a pound in just three minutes and received a € 500 voucher, to be spent on buffalo mozzarella!

Alone, with tomatoes in the classic Caprese, on pizza, in carrozza, in baked pasta … the uses you can make of this versatile and healthy product in the kitchen are truly many! Rich in phosphoruscalcium and proteins, as well as the maximum expression of the link with its production territory, buffalo mozzarella is in fact the undisputed queen of the Mediterranean diet, a humanity’s world heritage.

Marcella Scialla

 

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