Buffalo mozzarella

Buffalo mozzarella
Fresh Mozzarella di Bufala Campana
A water buffalo on a farm in Paestum, Campania

Buffalo mozzarella (Italian: mozzarella di bufala) is a mozzarella made from the milk of the domestic water buffalo.


Areas of production

Apart from Italy, its birthplace, buffalo mozzarella is manufactured in many locations around the world. There are producers in Switzerland,[1] United States,[2][3][4] Australia,[5] Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, United Kingdom, Spain, Colombia,[6] Thailand,[7] Egypt,[8] India[9] and South Africa,[10] all using milk from their own herds of water buffaloes. Some scientists believe that Italy and Bulgaria have the best dairy water buffaloes.[11]

In Italy, the cheese is produced in areas ranging from Rome in Lazio to Paestum (near Salerno) in Campania, and there is a production area in near Foggia, Puglia.[12]

Buffalo mozzarella is an important industry in Italy. Italy is home to a €300m ($430m) a year industry. Italy produces around 33,000 tonnes of its trademark mozzarella from buffalo milk every year, with 16 percent sold abroad, mostly in the European Union. France and Germany are the main importers but sales have been expanding in Japan and Russia."[13]

Protected geographical status

Buffalo mozzarella from Campania bears the "Mozzarella di Bufala Campana" trademark. In 1993, it was granted Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status, in 1996 the trademark received registry number 1107/96[14] and in 2008 the European Union granted Mozzarella di Bufala Campana Protected Geographical Status and PDO indicator.[15] The Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio di Bufala Campana (in English, "The Consortium for the Protection of the Buffalo Cheese of Campania") is an organization of approximately 200 producers, that, under Italian law, is responsible for the "protection, surveillance, promotion and marketing" of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana.[16]

Among the many other Italian cheeses that have PDO status are Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Asiago cheese (see also List of Italian PDO cheeses)

History in Italy

The history of water buffalo in Italy is not settled.

One theory is that Asian water buffalo were brought to Italy by Goths during the migrations of the early medieval period.[17] However, according to the Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, the "most likely hypothesis" is that they were introduced by Normans from Sicily in 1000, and that Arabs had introduced them into Sicily.[18] The Consorzio per la Tutela also refers to fossil evidence (the prehistoric European Water Buffalo, Bubalus murrensis) suggesting that water buffalo may have originated in Italy.[19] A fourth theory is that water buffalo were brought from Mesopotamia into the Near East by Arabs and then introduced into Europe by pilgrims and returning crusaders.[8]

"In ancient times, the buffalo was a familiar sight in the countryside, since it was widely used as a draught animal in plowing compact and watery terrains, both because of its strength and the size of its hooves, which do not sink too deeply into moist soils."[citation needed]

References to cheese products made from water buffalo milk appeared for the first time at the beginning of the twelfth century.[citation needed] Buffalo mozzarella became widespread throughout the south of Italy from the second half of the eighteenth century, before which it had been produced only in small quantities.[20]

"Production in and around Naples was briefly interrupted during World War II, when retreating Nazis slaughtered the area's water buffalo herds, yet commenced a few years after the armistice was signed".[citation needed]

Production stages

"The richness of buffalo milk makes it highly suitable for processing. To produce 1 kg of cheese, a cheese maker requires 8 kg of cow milk but only 5 kg of buffalo milk. Producing 1 kg of butter requires 14 kg of cow milk but only 10 kg of buffalo milk. Because of these high yields, processors appreciate the value of buffalo milk.".[8]

The steps required to produce buffalo mozzarella are the following:[21][22]

  1. Milk storage (raw buffalo milk stored in big steel containers).
  2. Milk heating (thermic treatment to the liquid, then poured into a cream separator).
  3. Curdling (by induction of natural whey).
  4. Curd maturation (the curd lies in tubs in order to reduce the acidification processes and reach a pH value of about 4.95).
  5. Spinning (hot water is poured out on the curd in order to soften it, obtaining pasta filata).
  6. Shaping (with special rotating shaper machines).
  7. Cooling (by immersion in cold water).
  8. Pickling (by immersion in pickling tubs containing the original whey).
  9. Packaging (in special films cut as bags or in small basins and plastic).


The digestive system of water buffaloes permits them to turn low grade vegetation into rich milk which, due to its higher percentage of solids, provides higher levels of protein, fat and minerals than cow milk.[23]

Contents for 100 gr:[20]

  • proteins 3.72 - 4.2%*
  • fat 7.5%*
  • vitamin A mg 0.15
  • vitamin B mg 0.003
  • vitamin B1 mg 0.3
  • calcium mg 169*
  • phosphorus mg 380
  • sodium mg 0.4
  • iron mg 0.7
  • energy content 270 Kcal/100 g
  • Source: National Dairy Council, 1993


Generally, buffalo mozzarella is enjoyed with pasta, calzone, vegetables, salads (for example, insalata Caprese), on pizza (a low moisture content buffalo mozzarella is preferred), on grilled bread, or by itself accompanied by olive oil. [24]


  1. ^ Tagliabue, John; Schangnau Journal (2006-06-12). "Buffalo Milk in Swiss Mozzarella Adds Italian Accent". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/12/world/europe/12swiss.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Bubalus real Mozzarella Cheese". Realmozzarella.com. http://www.realmozzarella.com/index.php. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  3. ^ "water buffalo cheese, yogurt, and specialty meats". Bufala di Vermont. http://bufaladivermont.com. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  4. ^ "Water Buffalo Mozzarella". Cookography. 2008-06-07. http://www.cookography.com/2008/water-buffalo-mozzarella. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to the Australian Buffalo Industry Council". Buffaloaustralia.org. http://www.buffaloaustralia.org. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  6. ^ Seno, L. O.; V. L. Cardoso and H. Tonhati (2006). "Responses to selection for milk traits in dairy buffaloes". Genetics and molecular research 5 (4): 790–6. PMID 17183486. http://www.funpecrp.com.br/gmr/year2006/vol4-5/gmr0227_abstract.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-19. "Borghese and Mazzi (2005) presented a comprehensive review on the Buffalo populations and production systems in the world. According to these authors, Brazil has the largest buffalo herd size in South America, followed by Venezuela, Argentina and Colombia. Buffaloes were imported into Brazil between 1940s and 1960s, where the ideal conditions such as thriving pastures, water, grazing space, and suitable temperatures were available. In the 1970s Brazilian buffalo breeders began to use these animals for dairy and meat production." 
  7. ^ Janssen, Peter (2008-08-11). "Italian mountaineers cut the cheese in Thailand". Expatica.com. http://www.expatica.com/fr/life_in/leisure/Italian-mountaineers-cut-the-cheese-in-Thailand.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  8. ^ a b c National Research Council (2002). "Introduction". The Water Buffalo: New Prospects for an Underutilized Animal. Books For Business. ISBN 0-89499-193-0. OCLC 56613238. http://diglib.auburn.edu/gsdl/cgi-bin/library?e=d-000-00---0demo--00-0-0--0prompt-10---4------0-1l--1-en-50---20-about---00031-001-1-0utfZz-8-10&a=d&c=demo&cl=CL2.1&d=HASH0142c36ef0603ad0411d2547.3. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  9. ^ Cox, Antoon (2008-01-13). "Italian cheese, sold in the US, made in India". The Indian Express. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/italian-cheese-sold-in-the-us-made-in-india/260933/. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  10. ^ "Buffalo soldier". The Times (South Africa). 2008-06-08. http://www.thetimes.co.za/SpecialReports/FoodShow/Article.aspx?id=778239. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  11. ^ "UF Experts Help Launch Water Buffalo Dairy Program". University of Florida News. 2002. http://news.ufl.edu/2002/01/11/waterbuffalo. Retrieved 2008-10-18. "Italy and Bulgaria have the best dairy water buffalo, said team member Maarten Drost, a UF professor of veterinary medicine specializing in cattle reproduction." 
  12. ^ Mozzarella di Bufala Campagna DOP, Consorzio di Tutela (2008). "The Product: Production Zone". 
  13. ^ Charter, David (2008-03-29). "Buffalo mozzarella in crisis after pollution fears at Italian farms". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article3643079.ece. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  14. ^ Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, Consorzio di Tutela (2008). "The Consortium: History of The Organization". "The Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP trademark (Protected Name of Origin) was registered with the European Community Regulation no. 1107 of 1996, three years after it was given the D.O.C. mark (D.P.C.M. of 10/05/1993)." 
  15. ^ European Commission (2008-02-05). "Commission Regulation (EC) No 103/2008 of 4 February 2008 approving non-minor amendments to the specification for a name entered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications — Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (PDO)". Official Journal of the European Union L 31: 31. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32008R0103:EN:NOT. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  16. ^ Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, Consorzio di Tutela (2008). "The Consortium: History of The Organization". "The Consortium is the only organization recognized by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies (MIPAF) for the protection, surveillance, promotion and marketing of Mozzarella di Bufala Campana." 
  17. ^ "Mozzarella di Bufala". Forno Bravo Cooking. Forno Bravo, LLC. http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/pizza_ingredients/mozzarella/mozzarella1.html. Retrieved 2008-10-16. "It all starts with the Asian Buffalo, brought to Italy by the Goths, as they migrated southwest during the waning years of the Roman empire." 
  18. ^ Mozzarella di Bufala Campagna DOP, Consorzio di Tutela (2008). "History". "There are many theories on their Italian beginnings: the most likely hypothesis is that the Norman kings, around the year 1000, brought them into southern Italy from Sicily, where they had been introduced by the Arabs." 
  19. ^ Mozzarella di Bufala Campagna DOP, Consorzio di Tutela (2008). "History". "However, others believe that the buffalo originated in Italy, a theory that is based on fossils found in the Roman countryside, as well as from results of recent studies that appear to demonstrate that Italian buffalos have a different phylogeny than Indian buffalos." 
  20. ^ a b "Campana Buffalo's Mozzarella Cheese". http://www.mozzarelladibufala.org/allestimento.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  21. ^ "Mozzarella di Bufala Campana" (in Italian; see also Google translation to English: Mozzarella Bufala Campana). Formaggio.it. http://www.formaggio.it/italiaDOP/mozzarellabufalacampana.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  22. ^ Anuttama (2007-03-12). How to turn milk into mozzarella cheese. YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgB-pmwOhbw. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  23. ^ Caramanica, Susie (May 2005). "Buffalo Mozzarella: An Italian Original". TED Case Studies (Trade Environment Database) 776. http://www.american.edu/ted/mozzarella.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  24. ^ "Campana Buffalo's Mozzarella Cheese: How To Enjoy". MozzarelladiBufal.org. http://www.mozzarelladibufala.org/allestimento.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 

External links

Further reading

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