Discovering the secrets of buffalo mozzarella
The reasons why the best mozzarella comes from Campania
Buffalo mozzarella is a special kind of mozzarella made from the milk of water buffalo. This milk makes this special mozzarella richer in protein, fats and calcium, and lower in cholesterol, than the cow milk one. Moreover, in countries where the number of people that are intolerant to lactose and other nutritious substances is increasing very rapidly, buffalo mozzarella are even more appreciated, as they tend to be lower in lactose and therefore easier to digest.
As explained by the Australian magazine Italianicious, "buffalo milk goes a long way, with around four litres used to produce one kilogram of buffalo mozzarella. The unique properties of buffalo milk lend themselves to the immaculate porcelain white colour that buffalo mozzarella is renowned for".
Traditionally, the word mozzarella comes from mozzare, a verb referring to the manual cutting of something (in this case, the stretched curd). It seems that the very first mozzarellas date back to the 12th century, when a group of monks from the San Lorenzo monastery in Capua (in the Caserta province) began producing a special cheese called mozza, as well as a smoked variety called provatura, or provola in its contemporary version.
They start making these cheeses to have something to offer together with bread to pilgrims approaching their monastery, but it was only several centuries later that mozza became mozzarella and started being commercialized.
If mozzarella's origins are associated to the Campania region, it is not surprising to know that an ad-hoc institution to safeguard and promote this treasured local product was launched in the same region in 1981, with the name of "Consorzio di Tutela della Mozzarella di Bufala Campana".
Finally, it is worth remembering that "Mozzarella di Bufala Campana boasts the coveted DOP status, and in order for a product to bear this title, it needs to be produced to exacting standards within designated areas of the Campania, Lazio, Puglia or Molise regions of Italy. Milk also needs to come from buffalo that have been raised within these areas".