If Parmigiano Reggiano is the emblem of made in Italy cheeses, the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is no less. This is confirmed by the successes that this product has been collecting for some time abroad, so much that it has led many companies to study specific solutions to guarantee, in less than a day, delivery to the markets, not only in Europe, but also in America and Asia. For centuries, the plain of the selection has been dedicated to the breeding of buffaloes, probably coming from the Lombards, from whose milk a mozzarella of an amazing goodness is produced. From an impromptu and curious tasting of tourists and travelers, the wonder for the product is renewed, followed by an export that fails to satisfy the demand, if not in limited quantity, to safeguard the quality of the product, which since 1993 has the DOP mark. To be able to boast the DOP mark, it must be produced with buffalo milk, reared in the wild and fed with natural feed. To prepare it you need all the knowledge of the dairy masters, skilled in cutting (hence the name), the stringy pasta still warm. The milk obtained from the buffaloes arrives in a few hours at the dairy, where it is immediately processed, bringing it to a temperature between 33º and 36º. Coagulation is preceded by the addition of serum grafting, obtained from the whey from the previous day’s processing. The breaking of the curd, traditionally carried out with a wooden stick, today also with other mechanical means, is pushed until grains of the size of a walnut are obtained. For 3-6 hours the curd matures under serum. The ripe pasta is cut into thin slices placed in wooden “tine”, in which water is added at 95º C. With the help of wooden sticks, it is processed, removing the water that has become lukewarm and adding another boiling water, until obtaining a homogeneous and glossy mixture. The mass of homogeneous curd becomes a large ball that the cheesemaker keeps tied with rapid circular movements of the bowl, follows the traditionally hand-made cutting: a cheesemaker holds the bulk of the dough in his arms, the other with characteristic movement of the hands, truncates a smaller part between the index and the thumb: it is the mozzarella. When cut, if the product is fresh and fragrant, a serum groove appears, with the typical scent of live milk enzymes of buffalo milk.
The first news on buffalo mozzarella dates back to the 12th century, when the Benedictine monks of the Convent of San Lorenzo in Capua began to offer bread and cut off, as a sign of hospitality, to the members of the Metropolitan Chapter who every year, according to ancient tradition, they carried in procession to the Sanctuary. Today, among the cheeses, the Campania buffalo mozzarella is the most important PDO in the region, thanks to the expertise of the farmers, the long work of genetic selection and the ability of the producers to combine the ancient traditions with the modern demands of technological innovation. To protect the consumer, various measures have also been introduced to guarantee the traceability and consequently the labeling of dairy production.
Text taken from “Campania è Formaggio”
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