Campana Buffalo S Mozzarella Cheese
The production and consumption of mozzarella is closely related to summer as the sales of the cheese soars during these months. It is traditionally produced in the areas lying between the Abruzzo Mountains and the Pontine plain. This area was once totally unproductive and full of disease. The land was reclaimed in the Fascist era and was made fertile. The region around Capua and Caserta (close to Naples) is considered the heartland of mozzarella made with buffalo-milk. You can find thousands of buffaloes.
What is really interesting is that Italy wasn’t a natural habitat for buffaloes and were introduced into the country in the seventh century. The making of cheese products made from its milk has been recorded from the beginning of the twelfth century.
The cheese was named mozzarella after one of the processing phases. It had been called by different names earlier, mozza in the 15th century or mozzatura later. There are references to monks at the monastery of San Lorenzo offering mozzarella and bread to pilgrims since 1100. Earlier the buffaloes were milked and the milk processed into cheese in the same place. The cheese making shifted to buildings that were called bufalare in the 17th century, where the manufacture was over-looked by the casaro or cheese maker. Butter, or provola, was also made here. The art in the production of this mild cheese lies in the casaro’s ability to retain the butterfat.
In the early days, the superiority of the cheese produced rests on the skill of the casaro and thus ricotta and provola were popular. Things changed from the second half of the 18th century onwards when rustic machines were built to make the cheese, thereby simplifying the production.
There is a difference in taste between the mozzarella made with cow’s milk and that made with buffalo milk. The difference is both in taste and texture. While cow's milk mozzarella is mild, milky flavoured with an elastic texture, Mozzarella di Bufala tends to be heavier with a strong lactic flavour and is not as firm as the former. The method of production both forms of the cheese is the same. Normally, the cheese stretched by hand is richer and sweeter than the machine produced ones.
The peculiarity of mozzarella is due to its conventional method of preparation. The milk is drawn, moulded and smoked. Cow’s milk mozzarella is left to float on brine. The production of buffalo milk mozzarella is very different. The milk is first curdled and drained to get rid of the whey. The curd is then ground to reduce it to crumbles. This is then collected, put in a mold and put into hot water. It is stirred until it gets its tough. This is then kneaded like dough, after which he pulls out a strands and cuts it to make an individual mozzarella. These little bits are first soaked in cold water and the let to float on brine, where it absorbs salt. The end product is fibrous and is ready to eat on the next morning. You can watch the processing of this cheese in small diaries.
Mozzarella is very nutritional as it is rich in calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also easily digested.
What you should remember while buying
Mozzarella is sold in a variety of shapes-small balls called bocconcini or in big balls. It can weigh anywhere between one ounce and twenty ounces. It should be eaten fresh, preferably few hours after production. It should be elastic, tight on the surface, smooth, and moist. Make sure that there are no yellow spots on the cheese and when cut shows many layers. Whey should seep out when cut and in your mouth the solid should separate from the liquid and melt in your mouth.
Mozzarella goes very well with pizza, pasta, vegetables and tomatoes. The best recipe to really enjoy it is with fresh tomatoes and basil or toasted bread with mozzarella and anchovies. You can also be creative as its culinary possibilities are endless.
In its home, this cheese is served in a carrozza or carriage or in batter fried sandwiches. It holds the highest place in Neapolitan cuisine and is the most important ingredient in dishes like melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana); panzerottithat and calzone, and of course not to forget it synonymy with piazza.
The cover is printed with 'Mozzarella di Bufala Campana' along with the brand of the Association. Be sure to check this before you buy. The production by the association is monitored in adherence with the DOC (Certified Origin Brand) and the DOP (Certified Provenance brand EEC) rules. This association of 95 producers was granted the Presidential Decree on 1993.