It’s porcelain white colour, it’s smooth surface, the use of separate layers of curd, it’s initial elasticity that slowly melts are the unique characteristics of this product. When it’s cut it’s milky siero reminds us of grass and hay, typical of buffalo milk.
This extraordinary milk is produced by the Italian buffalo, an antique indigenous water buffalo from the central southern region of Italy.
Thanks to it’s unique characteristics, buffalo mozzarella is a highly digestible cheese with an extremly low level of saturated fat and low cholestrol and lactose. It is high in protein and offers high quantities of calcium, phosphorous and water soluble vitamins such as B1, B2, B6 and niacin. It is also a good source of vitamins and zinc both of which fight free radicals. It is low in salt making it the preferred choice over cows mozzarella and other cheeses.
5 litres of milk are needed to make 1kg of mozzarella. High quality, handmade mozzarella contains no conservatives and the sooner you eat it the better it tastes.
Buffalo mozzarella is made in 10g to 800g (aversana mozzarella) chunks; but can reach 5kg as in the case of the “zizzona di Battipaglia”. There are also plaits and small knots of varying dimensions. This mozzarella can also be smoked and for handcrafted mozzarella a natural process using hay smoke is used which darkens the cheeses skin and gives it a pleasant smoky flavour.
Not everyone knows that to conserve it properly mozzarella should be kept in it’s preservation liquid and should be stored and eaten at room temperature. If it is too hot then the entire package should be kept in a container of fresh water, avoiding the fridge which affects it’s aroma and reduces it’s elasticity. The larger the piece of mozzarella the better it keeps. An aversana weighing 500g keeps better and for a longer amount of time than small cherry mozzarella’s.
Buffalo mozzarella lovers are generally divided into two camps: those that prefer the Caserta produce and those that prefer that from Battipaglia. What is the difference between the two? First and foremost it’s reputation based on the fact that Caserta has produced bufalo mozzarella for a far longer time than Salerno and the surrounding area. As for the actual product, between the two areas there are some slight differences: in the breeding of the animals, in the production process and in the percentage of fat in the milk. Due to this Caserta’s mozzarella is usually of a fuller richer flavour while Battipaglia’s is sweeter and softer. Whether from Caserta or Salerno bufalo mozzarella is a healthy, wholesome, versatile and well loved dish. From the traditional caprese salad served with fresh tomatoes or risotto to pizza, buffalo mozzarella is a unique ingredient capable of elevating any dish.