Itinerary: Naples, Caserta, Benevento, Salerno, Foggia, Frosinone, Latina
The delicious Mozzarella of Bufala Campana DOP cheese
Mozzarella of Bufala (buffalo-milk mozzarella cheese) is produced in the southern part of Italy. It is a dairy product widely used in the Italian cuisine and also well known in the world: just think about a "real" Italian pizza topped with this cheese you can get even in your town anywhere you live! Mozzarella of Bufala with its intense and fresh flavor is able to please even the most refined taste!
Where it is produced
The main production areas are in the region of Campania (cheese coming from here are called "Mozzarella of Bufala Campana") and mostly in the provinces of Caserta, Benevento, and Salerno. Nevertheless, this delicious buffalo-milk mozzarella can also be produced in the surrounding areas as well, such as the south of Lazio (in the provinces of Latina and Frosinone) and north of Apulia (in the province of Foggia). In order to get the special Designation of Protected Origin (DOP), dairy companies must use female-buffalo milk which has to come from the only municipalities allowed and located in the regions of Campania, Lazio, Apulia or Molise.
History & how it is made
It is very likely that buffalos were brought in Italy by the Saracens, but the origin of buffalo-milk mozzarella cheese are not clear. Someone says that the Normans were the inventors of this tasty cheese in the city of Aversa (near Naples), where a special mozzarella is still produced today, while others say that mozzarella was invented by some monks. Anyway, it seems that the buffalo-milk mozzarella first appeared during the Middle Age.
In 1981, a Consortium was founded in order to protect, give value, and promote this type of cheese in Italy and in the world, while in 1993 Mozzarella of Bufala Campana received the DOP status, being a high-quality, very special product.
Mozzarella of Bufala is made from the milk of the Italian buffalo, and the term "mozzarella" comes from "mozzatura", a process which refers to the hand-made cut of the curd: in fact, mozzarella is usually served and sold in single, rounded portions. Producers usually appreciate buffalo's milk more than cow's milk because it takes less buffalo's milk to produce an equal quantity of cheese. For instance, it takes 4/5 kilos of buffalo's milk to produces 1 kilo of mozzarella cheese: the same quantity of cheese requires 8 kilos of cow's milk.
Qualities & how it looks like
Mozzarella of Bufala Campana is a type of cheese known in Italy as "pasta filata" (stretched-curd cheese), and its surface is pearly-white and smooth. The covering surface is slightly hard while the inside is really soft and juicy. You can mostly find it shaped in small round balls, but sometimes smaller balls (called "bocconcini") or big mozzarella braids or knots are produced and sold.
The aroma is intense and delicate at the same time while the flavor is very fresh and can be strong, persistent and slightly acid. Thanks to the use of buffalo's milk, this kind of mozzarella contains more proteins, fat, and minerals than the regular cow milk mozzarellas.
The best way to taste it
Mozzarella of Bufala Campana is more than often used as a topping on pizzas, both cooked or raw. You can also stuff "calzone" with this cheese. It can be served in salads or accompanying vegetables of all kinds. One of the most renowned, and yet very simple, Italian dish is "caprese", which combines slices of tomato and mozzarella, basil and olive oil.
Mozzarella of Buffalo is also very tasty with "prosciutto" (ham) or served with fresh pasta salads but, if you want to taste it at its best, we suggest eating it by itself, dressed with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil.
Some pictures of Mozzarella of Bufala cheese: