CAMPANA BUFFALO'S MOZZARELLA CHEESE
Seven provinces in Central-South Italy: Caserta and Salerno provinces, and part of Benevento, Naples, Frosinone, Latina and Rome.
Italy and mozzarella are synonimous. The creamy cheese from Southern Italy has won fans the world over, and its versatility in the kitchen has assured it a starring role in Italian cuisine both in Italy and in North America.
The buffalo was introduced into Italy in the seventh century, but references to cheese products made from its milk only started to appear at the beginning of the twelfth century. Mozzarella became widespread throughout the south of Italy from the second half of the eighteenth century, before which it had only been produced in small quantities.
Whatever the correct explanation, it is a matter of fact that mozzarella di bufala cheese is not a recent arrival on the scene. 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.
A fresh, stringy textured cheese with porcelain-white coulor, it has an extremely thin rind and delicate taste. When cut, it produces a white watery fluid with the aroma of milk enzymes. Apart from its typical round shape, it is also produced in small bite-sized shapes and plaits.
The peculiarity of this cheese is entirely due to the technology used in its traditional preparation. It is produced exclusively from whole buffalo milk and, after drawing and moulding, may also be smoked, but only using natural, traditional procedures.Buffalo milk is not for drinking and is used exclusively for making mozzarella. Indeed, it is so nutritious and so rich in fat and cassein that it would be indigestible over the breakfast table, whereas it is the best for the cheese industry. Cow's-milk mozzarella is a ball of fresh cheese swimming in brine, pleasant as ice cream but absolutely tasteless. Made out of buffalo milk, instead, it becomes an altogether different matter. By visiting one of the many small dairies scattered over the district between Caserta and Salerno, you can see the way mozzarella is made, which is a very fast process.
The milk is brought in, curdled, then drained to eliminate the whey. After this the curd is cut into small pieces, then ground up in a sort of primitive mill. At this point, reduced to crumbles, the curd is put into a mold and immersed in hot water, where it is stirred until it takes on a rubbery texture. The cheesemaker kneads it with his hands, like a baker making bread, until he obtains a smooth, shiny paste, a strand of which he pulls out and lops off, forming the individual mozzarella ("mozzare" in Italian in fact means to lop off). These in turn are put into cold water and then to soak in brine. The cheese absorbs as much salt as is necessary and has to take on consistency. In the end, it must not be soft and mushy when cut but fibrous and elastic, so that if poked it springs back to its original shape. Mozzarella, prepared in the evening is ready the next morning, oozing with freshness and richly flavored.
Rich in calcium, high in protein and lactic flora substances, and with a high vitamin and mineral salt content, it is highly nutritional.Mozzarella di Bufala Campana is a fresh product, rich of live lactic ferments,nutritious and highly digestive.
Contents for 100 gr:
vitamin A mg 0,15
vitamin B mg 0,003
vitamin B1 mg 0,3
calcium mg 510
phosphorus mg 380
sodium mg 0,4
iron mg 0,7.
Tot. calories for 100 gr Kcal 270
Mozzarella is sold in a variety of shapes-small balls called bocconcini (little bites), plump spheres, braids-and can weigh anywhere from one ounce to twenty ounces. Since it should be eaten within a few days of its production-some people maintain within a few hours of it-it is especially important to have a reliable mozzarella vendor in your area. The following characteritics are good indications of freshness: the consistency should be elastic, the surface tight, smooth, and humid, neither too dry nor too wet. There should be no yellowish marks or spots, and, when pressed with a finger, the texture should be neither soft nor rubbery. Once you slice into the mozzarella, it should have a grainy surface and appear to be composed of many layers, like an onion, especially near the surface.
Pearls of milky whey should seep out when you cut into mozzarella; upon tasting, you should notice the liquid separating from the solid, almost as if the mozzarella had been soaked in milk. And, of course, mozzarella should melt in your mouth.
HOW TO ENJOY
Apart from enjoying it fresh, its special characteristics make it the perfect ingredient for typical Mediterranean dishes like pizza, pasta, vegetables and tomatoes.In the summer months, serve it with fresh tomatoes and basilico, or if you prefer something less light, prepare a delicious "mozzarella in carozza" (mozzarella in a carriage) or "crostini" (toasted bread) with mozzarella and anchovies, so easy to make and so popular with family and friends. In other words, put it everywhere, not forgetting what Brillat Savarian used to say: "A meal without cheese is like a pretty woman without an eye." By now, this cheese, unique of its kind, has become an essential ingredient of a whole vast range of Italian recipes, from pizza, now popular all over the world, to pasta and meat and vegetables dishes. Wherever it is put, it succeeds in adding that extra touch of freshness and novelty.When you have a reliable source of fresh mozzarella, the culinary possibilities are endless. At its simplest, all it needs is a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a grinding of aromatic black pepper. Mozzarella is ideal combined with tomatoes, basil, or oregano, and can be stirred into cold or hot pasta or vegetable dishes. In the classic insalata caprese, it is paired with ripe tomatoes and sweet basil and dressed with extra-virgin olive oil (no balsamic vinegar or lemon, as many recipes suggest); a delicious dish combines the flavors of this salad with the satisfying texture and taste of pasta, making the mozzarella melt lusciously on contact with the hot pasta. In Campania, mozzarella is served in carrozza (literally, in a carriage), sandwiched between two slices of bread, battered, and fried. It is also essential to melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana); deep-fried half-moon pastries called panzerottithat also feature salami; and calzone. And, of course, pizza wouldnąt be the same without mozzarella. When using fresh mozzarella to top your pizza or fill your calzone, it is best to cut it into cubes and allow it to drain for several hours in a colander so that the crust doesn't become soggy (some pizzaioli swear by packaged "dry" mozzarella for pizza, saying it yields a crisper crust; in Italy, the problem doesn't present itself, since there is a special variety of fresh mozzarella with a lower moisture content meant especially for topping pizzas). Mozzarella is also ideal sliced and grilled; cubed, skewered with bread, and grilled, then topped with a warm anchovy sauce (this is a traditional Roman antipasto); or stuffed into focaccia. When it is stirred into tomato sauce, it gives rice, pasta, or gnocchi a meltingly rich and delicious consistency.
To deal with the ever-increasing market demands, the production of mozzarella has grown constantly over the years.
Wrapping printed with the name 'Mozzarella di Bufala Campana' and the brand of the Association with the relevant legal information and authorisation number.
The Association monitors the production and marketing of the Mozzarella di Bufala Camapana in compliance with the production rules for the DOC (Certified Origin Brand) and DOP (Certified Provenance brand EEC) quality brands.
DOC recognition was given by Presidential Decree on 10/5/1993. The Protection Association was founded in 1993 and now represents 95 producers.