Mozzarella is made around the world and, as such, varies significantly. But it is generally agreed that none can quite match the original, made with the very special milk of the handsome water buffalo of Campania, Italy.
The water buffalo was introduced to Italy in the 7th Century as a working beast to plough the marshes south of Naples. With the ever-changing demand and the demise of the Roman Empire, the purpose of the buffalo likewise altered. By the 18th Century the domesticated buffalo’s milk was being used in the south-central region to fulfil the cheese method of ‘pasta filata’, or stretched curd, introduced from the eastern Mediterranean. This is achieved by covering the separated curds with boiling water, then stirring, then spinning and hand stretching to form balls. Ultimately this creates delicate layers of curd with droplets of whey trapped within, and thus lends the signature moist and delicate interior. When cut, pearls of milky whey should seep out. Flavour yields a sweet, milky and mild impression with a subtle hint of earth and moss.
Mozzarella di Bufala is milky and gentle yet incredibly delicious on its own. Traditionally, however, it is thought to carry the role of adding texture rather than taste to a culinary offering. It has the ability to absorb and intensify the juices and ingredients of other dishes by trapping the same juices and ingredients between its delicate layers of curd and thus producing some remarkable results. It is unrivaled on pizza, and amazing in salads where it embraces olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and basil.
Serve with a light, zippy, appetite arousing wine such as Fiano di Avellino, Pinot Grigio, or a dry rose’.
*At La Jolie, we receive fly-in Mozzarella di Bufala from Campagnia, Italy every two weeks. We suggest calling ahead to reserve as numbers are limited!